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Pandemic Zoom Self Portraits (2020, 2021)


Since the pandemic separated most of us from each other physically, we have been seeing others mostly on screens, in zoom windows for moments of kindness, decisions and stories. The images and transmissions have propelled us into a certain future, but also very much reminded us how important it is for us to have physical contact, to experience other’s in the same reality we are in. Delayed transmissions, muted sound, out of synch lips, sometimes even crashes, have made us so fragile, and our brains so tired from constantly trying to somehow fill the gaps.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been taking screenshots of my conversations with so many other humans, sometimes one on one and sometimes in groups. I have taken over 700 images in the past months. It is a visual record but can it be an emotional record as well? I worked with machine learning to find commonalities between the many moments of connection and disconnection.

I created permutations of the many conversations and the resulting new photographs emerge with the markings of visual vocabulary meticulously unearthed by Gerhard Richter or at times wrestled into the canvas by Francis Bacon. More recently, Ali Banisard has been playing with this openness of perception, connecting to Hieronymus Bosch, or Flora Yukhnovich, playing with the visual vocabulary of Rococo.

The photographs here contain just enough information for us to sense a human presence but there is no way to really recognize who is talking with whom. (I am in all of them, as I took the pictures). Our brain wants to make sense of it all, but enough has been stripped away that it becomes almost impossible. This is an amplification of the desperate need to conect in difficult times. It is a meta view at how we have seen so many.

This work connects the different avenues I have been following on my artistic journey. It is photography but it looks like painting. It is a universe of digital images but very much conected to a real life experience. It is highly personal and yet abstract and welcoming.

Everything is interconnected. What seems familiar often isn’t. What seems unfamiliar often isn’t.

London, April 2021

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