Carla Cabanas has been exploring topics related to archive, memory and deletion. The artist often uses photographs rescued from vintage fairs or taken from archival and documentary contexts.
During her artistic residency at the 2016 Walk & Talk, Carla Cabanas got to know the photo archive of the Cultural Institute of Ponta Delgada. In this research, she found a set of photographs from the first half of the XX century, which result from the act of photographing a photograph. A common practice at the time, with multiple purposes among which to preserve the matrix, make photo montages or enlargements.
From this momentum of image preservation, the project The Matrix and the Interval arises, in which the artist works with the history of photographic practice and with the specificity of the medium. In the glass plates of the archive we see paper photographs, postcards, portraits and scenes from everyday life, imprisoned with pins in improvised structures - pieces of wood, pieces of furniture, newspaper clippings or fabric, ready to be photographed again. Cabanas repeats the act of reproducing the photograph, while retaining the improvised backgrounds, whose original photographer would surely eliminate in the final image.
In Carla Cabanas's images, her various matrices are made apparent: the original photograph (whose matrix has been lost), the glass plate that results from the photographic act of the photograph (the second matrix) and a third that results from the digitization. The images presented are the impression of this last matrix, and contain evidence of the various photographic maneuvers, performed at different times. The interval between the output of each matrix is compressed on a single surface, the last image.
As in previous works, her images are composed of overlapping layers, without distance, without spacing. They are marks of the degradation of glass plates, of photographic materials, of human marks, such as dates or obscure references. As geological strata, these layers give the time, the intervals between each of the lives of these photographic objects. The image carries with it the vestiges of the various photographic maneuvers; Each matrix encapsulates in itself the antecedents and the first matrix contains the referent.
Art Residency Program - Performing Arts