Andrés Galeano – Unknown Photographers
by Stef Rieder
Exhibition currently on show at Pavlov’s Dog Raum für Fotografie in Berlin. — “For the past two years, Andrés Galeano has been collecting old photo albums. Most of the albums come from dismantled estates and Galeano then finds them at flea markets. The photographs from these albums are the starting point, the material for the artist’s work: Without cutting or manipulating them in any way, he puts them in a new order, he assembles them according to certain geometrical principles. In this way, something new is created from these often faded amateur photographs; the pictures of the unknown photographers start to communicate with one another and reveal archetypical forms and motifs: Numerous rainbows, photographed at different times by people who are unknown to each other, are combined to form a perfect oval in Galeano’s montage. It is as if these photographs were designed for this assemblage.
The superimposition of single pictures that show banal, almost comical, repetitious forms like the finger in front of the lens soon start to develop a transcendental layer. To the viewer, these montages seem both astounding and compelling but never arbitrary. It is a play on the ever re-occurring themes of photography as an art form: light and shadow, the impermanence of the one fleeting moment in time and the everlasting wish of the human kind to capture this decisive moment.
The artist’s focus in this work is the sky as the absolute metaphor for transcendence. It is towards the sky, towards heaven that everything floats in defiance to gravity. It seems as if one only needs to shift all the images of the photographed world towards each other to realise that everything strives after the sky.”