Elegiac Sequences

Elegiac Sequences

Shortlisted for the 2016 Aesthetica Art prize, photographer and architect Gabriela Torres Ruiz’s (b. 1970) series, Silence, is celebrated in a new publication by Hatje Cantz. Heavily influenced by the melancholy stillness of Iceland, the practitioner captures the phenomenon through a juxtaposition of landscapes and deserted structures.

Torres Ruiz’s focus on the subtle nuances of light and colour create eerily quiet and uncanny compositions that extend the notion of silence beyond the absence of sound. Diptychs and triptychs create dialogues between seemingly contrasting hostile environments and architectural forms. Aesthetic similarities in colour, tone and atmosphere heighten a sense of shared meaning, as the work explores notions of life cycles and chronology. Nodding towards the eventual reclamation of man made structures by their surroundings, this series subtly asserts the powerful ownership of the natural world over human constructions.

As the artist notes: “This series offers metaphors about the fate of those interiors returning to their initial state, where nature regains its lost space. I try to find images that are complementary and that somehow relate, either by the type of light, texture, colour, the atmosphere that they transmit or the aura they have. There must be something that unifies them and they should give us the feeling that they belong to the same place; that they belong to each other.”

Extending her scope outside the initial investigation into Nordic locales to uncover this selection of abandoned residences, Torres Ruiz combines the sublimity of nature with lost domestic grandeur. The interplay of light between the pairings often causes the work to enter into quasi-mythical realms, and as paint peels from walls and ripped curtains hang in broken windows, the photographs imply discarded narratives. These stories, like the buildings, will inevitably fade into insignificance. Silence both revives and lays to rest these histories, creating an arena for the viewer to reflect upon the transitory, recurring patterns of life.

Available now. Find out more: www.hatjecantz.de.

1. Image © Gabriela Torres Ruiz, Silence.