21 June 2014

A look flowing in his absence


The others already left

Resnik’s photography records a landscape empty of people, or of people in the act of leaving the scene, or those who simply observe at a distance, such as the image of the young boy who, distant in the landscape, shows us his surprised face at being photographed as he passes.

Resnik seems to regret to have to shoot a reality in which every image reveals something of himself.

Resnik is passing by like the young boy and like him he doesn’t like to be captured, detained in time, he prefers to move on and show that everything is as it should be, there is little to be done.

If there is a primary meaning in Resnik’s photography, it’s precisely that order developed to its ultimate expression. The geometrizing of the landscape, its composition, the disposition of each one of the elements before shooting denote that his obsessive desire to not leave anything out, but we primarily perceive his need  not to put anything inside that could perturb others eyes; it’s perhaps better for the others not to even be there, and if they are they should leave quickly, almost at the same moment Resnik himself makes a move to leave the recorded scene.

A perceptible time

What does Resnik record? A time-moment that will be reconstructed in the eyes of who watches his photographs. We all know that the photograph is that capturing of a moment, that moment divested of history installs itself in our memory and in our unconscious to remind us that we were there at one moment. In every photo Resnik glances out of the corner of his eye, as in the image taken from the window where he observes what is outside; the outside is the second indication of the meaning of his work.

In most of the photographs there is a ‘being outside’, there is an ‘off stage’ and this is the eye of the observer that sees a landscape premeditatedly ordered by the photographer, ordered up to the last detail. An asepsis that connotes discipline and rationalization. Like the textures of those old walls, of those windows of any town or city, of those benches in squares that we cannot fully see, every detail is absorbed by an axis that removes any possibility of entering into the image in search of the characters or simply their story.

We pass through Resnik’s photograph and he makes us stop, what he doesn’t want to do with his own moment of shooting he makes us do. And if we don’t want to stop he leaves us his feet in front of a television so that we are resigned to his presence-absence that begins now to unsettle us. It is time halted by someone and inflicted on us with indifference. He is not there and we don’t want to be there because we can’t see what is coming, what is perceptible, what is recorded.

The ‘bed and the shoes’

In Resnik’s recording of reality there is a bed which represents order, hygiene and cleanliness.The bed is the frame of a regulated and composed work. On the floor are the shoes, someone left them there, someone who is now no longer there; we don’t know whether he is, he is not present in this frame. This is the third indication of his work, his flight.

The ‘bed and shoes’ is an emblem of his work’s meaning, it is a part of an open discussion who is calling from within and doesn’t let himself be seen. Every  Olivier’s photographs marks for us a stable, safe point, with nothing to be supposed, everything is where it should be. Olivier is there, he is recording that moment, however nothing denotes his presence; the objects and their landscapes impose themselves with their absence separated from their own body. This is the fourth indication, there is a lack of body in the work of Resnik, we perceive only absences and solitudes that can be seen in the few portraid faces.

In Resnik’s work there is little presence of body, even the finger that presses the trigger is not there; one doesn’t hear the click, there is no pressing finger, there is no body supporting the camera: how does the picture is fixed in the potassium bromide?! Answering this question is the void of each of Resnik’s pics, it´s not a psychological question but a phenomenological one. Olivier is there in front of our eyes, but we cannot sense him.

A one-way train

As in the photograph of the train in which Olivier confesses that he is the one in the wagon, we see him sitting looking at a point that could be his photographer: is he perhaps posing? We don’t see him clearly, nor are we sure if he is the one we see in the photograph. We only observe somebody in a train travelling without other visible passengers, without a surrounding landscape, only him being captured by someone else. The unique moment of his being shot and we don’t know by whom, just as we don’t know who used the latex gloves that hang from a shutter, or whose shadow is projected onto the grass, or whose shoes are on the stairs or near the bed, or whose bicycles have been left in luminous thresholds, or the open doors; nobody is there, who should be?

The train as figure marks that journey of the eye, photogram by photogram like in a movie. In photography, continuity is given from within, through provocation and the certainty that something has been captured, almost like an act of magic. There is an order, an outside and a body that becomes flesh in the folds of what is shown, symptom after symptom of Resnik’s photographies, and yet one is missing, the flight, which leads to an unavoidable question: what are you running away from Resnik, what are you running away from?


Semiólogo - Director de Brand Consult Research - Buenos Aires