Look through the camera of Diofel Videla and you may discover that what you see is not always what meets the lens.
Still in his first years exploring digital camera work, the Chilean photographer returns for a second time to Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes to take a closer look at the balance between vision and perception in his most recent exhibit Tránsitos. The 30-plus piece exhibit is both interesting and honest, with some pieces presenting the harsher developments of society.
In "Just don’t do it," photos portray nude bodies of young adult females with digital images obscuring their faces. With accompanying statements like “Piensalo dos veces” (Think twice) and “Cuidado esto no es real” (Be careful, this isn't real), the message is clear.
“The result [of a society of consumption] is not a liberation, but a self repression and a perverse and culpable imagination,” Videla asserts.
Following along the same lines are works “Perforaciones” (Perforations) and “Solitarios” (Solitaries) whose nude photos are visually sensual yet morally bothersome.
Videla’s tone changes from social commentary to photographic technological exploration in “Efecto iTunes” (iTunes Effect). Skillfully using Photoshop with images produced by the iTunes monitor, the photographer creates a mixture of motion, perception and color, each unique to the individual featured.
“La Calchona,” a photo of a detached four-person family, and “Invunche,” picturing a superhero atop a garbage dump, are accompanied with detailed stories explaining the scene. This folklore gives both definition and depth to the pieces, setting them apart from any other pieces in the exhibit.
In a more engaging collection, “Frecuencia,” the subjects were asked to study and attempt to replicate Leonardo Da Vinci’s "Mona Lisa." Even digitalized, Videla’s concern for his subject’s viewpoint and personal opinion is undeniable.
One of the few positively titled works, “Dias felices” (Happy days), presents blurry digital shots of a day at the beach. Chosen as a memory most people can relate with, the artist insightfully depicts how society and time mold our memories to the point of cliché.
“Digital photography represents an ideal medium to express the complexity of visual perception; uniting the optical view of the exterior world with the fictitious images generated by our mind,” concludes Videla.
None of the images are meant to be aesthetically pleasing, but instead intellectually stimulating. Videla uses his photographic talents to convey a social message and his ability to link the two seamlessly renders him a true artist.
Closes January 4, 2009
National Museum of Bellas Artes
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