Exhibition opening December 2nd 2015, 19:00 hours, object Chifte hamam. Open till December 8th 2015 …
The provocation of the not entirely uncovered
on the mini retrospective of abstract photography by Osman Demiri
The abstract, not objective, experimental, or also known as conceptual photography is a means of creating visual, dramatic images and relies on primordial sensations for form, shape, color, curvature, rather than on the sense itself. It has no direct connection with the subject in literal form or with the world of the object, but what has been created depends on the good photographic equipment, processes and materials, and especially on the concept. Abstract photography can isolate a fragment of the natural landscape in order to remove its inherent context from the viewer, and it can be deliberately performed to create a seemingly unrealistic appearance of real objects, or it may involve the use of color, light, shadows, textures, shapes and/or forms to convey the feeling, sensation or impression. The image can be produced with use of traditional photographic equipment like camera, darkroom or computer, or it can be created without using the camera, by directly manipulating the film, the paper or other photographic media, including digital presentations.
Osman Demiri is our contemporary photographer, who began conquering the Macedonian photographic scene with his inventive and exceptionally aesthetic visual solutions through abstract, i.e. conceptual photographs. He explores photography all his life, the photography viewed through different lenses with different motives, interests and technological prerogatives. He also works with documentary photography and reporting photography, and objective photography, but where he feels safest and achieves the greatest closeness to art is exactly the abstract photography. He has created a sufficiently large stock of conceptual photographs which he has already grouped by series and cycles, which indicates that he thinks and creates systemically and thoughtfully, not just instinctively and without premeditation.
With Osman Demiri the magic of the unknown at times creates images that resemble the canvases with portents from Informalism, Op-Art or Surrealism, in other the colors, shapes and light make excellent poster-design solutions, whereas other photographs have purely conceptual aura and offer an associative, metaphorical syncretism. Demiri does not use computer finishing and does not use the magic of electronic transformation and transmutation, but all his images are obtained first-hand, with manual or digital camera, without subsequent finishing.
The line and form with the excellent choice of selected frames create the sensation which, if needed, has a pronounced voluminosity and three-dimensional fullness, while in other solutions the precision of freezing of the fragment gives a poster two-dimensionality, as if the forms are made with computer programs and tools. The line, depending on the whole concept to which Demiri strives, in some cases creates a certain “new geometry” of the image, or on the other hand, the round line creates a surreal softness of the image, leading to new ideas and associations that have nothing in common with the reference object, and are independent art agglomerations.
The light and shadow, although crucial in photography in general and especially in abstract photography, for Osman Demiri are specifically crucial in creating the drama, stressing the form, color, texture of the objects involved in the image. They shape the content and the “succulence” of the image. The application of light without shadows has no meaning. The shadows are not simple dark mass that borders the light. On the contrary, the shadows are live entities such as the light. The shadows shape the light, they direct the attention to the light. They also create an additional visual game offering the sensation, the geometric or rounded transfers and spatial compositions. They create an aura of prolonged action and successiveness, as well as an indication for the forthcoming process, i.e. they are actors of the dynamics.
On the other hand, the texture itself, as a principle, is emphasized by the form, the shadow and the light, and of course the color. In Demiri, it plays an important role in the visual finish. Obviously it is one of the important preconditions for defining the visual expression in our author, forming some kind of artistic solutions exemplary of the photography of Informalism, related to the “painting of matter”.
The color in turn grabs the viewer’s attention and stimulates the viewer’s perceptual system. It also serves to keep the viewer’s attention for a longer period of time. If the eyes of the viewer are wandering, the color tends to turn the attention back. Demiri uses saturated or intense colors, depending on the goal he wants to achieve. Sometime the achromatism (black-white, grey) dominates at the expense of texture and intensification of the light-shade, whereas sometime an intensive monochromatic image is essential for achieving the idea. He uses contrasting colors to increase the drama of the image.
Abstraction and emphasizing, as well as blurring and sharpening are commonly used photographic techniques to achieve the desired concept and realize the idea. In Osman Demiri these mechanisms in the use of photography are common, along with zooming, i.e. the macro photography. The compositional drama in achieving a focal center by means of sharpness and clarity is accentuated with abstraction and blurring of the rest of the compositional whole, complemented by colorful contrast or textural opponency.
These general descriptions of the creative engagement of Osman Demiri are specific qualifications of his photographic credo in the field of abstract photography and cut across all his photographic cycles with variations from one to another depending on the reference discourse that is an incentive to generate a given conceptual whole. In “Secret”, the sign is placed on the enigmatic compositions that offer hidden associations and create mystical distances from the “truth.” The title itself “Light and Shadow”, indicates an overriding interest in the conceptual whole, and it is a visual game and emphasis with accentuation of the contrast induced by specific blend of details or fragments of light and shadow on a particular motif. The dynamics and rhythm in these photos is emphasized, as well as the linearity which offers the direction of interest in the work. The red hue dominates in “Red Dreams,” with all its nuances. The forms and other elements and principles are used in favor of the color. In “Dialogue and Compromise” the line also dominates determining the abstract impact, but the balance between the forms and shapes, contrasts, light and shadow, texture is on the level of dialogue or achieving compromise and harmony of the elements.
One specific are the several pure conceptual collages organized with a certain conceptual causal consequentiality and supplemented by short text associativity, which offers the recipient routes for interpretation of the work, encountered in several cycles.
In the works of Osman Demiri simulacrums are shaped rather than realistic representations and spirituality dominates. Although some visual elements seem recognizable, the final effect is dynamic and completely abstract. These photographs instigate the viewer to read behind the scenes, while the poetic and universal forms initiate the sensual sensors.
Introducing “The New Vision” in photography, Moholy-Nagy wrote: “… it can not be so simply said to be irrelevant if the photography creates ‘art’ or not. Its basic laws and not the opinions of the art critics, will supply all the basic methods of proving its future value.“ This “new vision” in photography is not only confirmed as extremely important and valuable for the development of contemporary photography, but it also creates new simulacrums and new versions, as in our example with Osman Demiri, confirming the artistic impact of photography in contemporary art in general.