By Mercedes Abella

María A. Iovino Moscarella has developed a recognized work in Colombian and Latin American art as a teacher, researcher, curator and advisor on cultural projects. In the 2023 edition of Pinta BAphoto, she is participating as curator of Special Project: Sources by Andrés Ramírez Gaviria


Sources is a work in which photography engages with diverse research strategies, including sound and mathematics, curated by María A. Iovino Moscarella. 


Andrés Ramírez Gavira indicates the broad connections that characterize his perspective, as well as the poetic turn with which he enhances the material he analyzes. Each one of the images in this work include diverse perceptions and translations in which each represented element is exposed to an indescribable contamination in the journeys it makes throughout its history.


The records gathered by Sources communicate the most remote news of existence that a telescope has been able to offer from the Earth (quasars). Before being visual forms, these abstractions were sounds captured by a wave telescope. The light years through which the notes examined at the observatory have traveled were mathematically condensed and from that information the two-dimensional images were consolidated. In the discernment of these procedures, the artist highlights the fact that the immense scientific work that has sought to represent what is happening over vast distances and unimaginable times in cosmic space could never be closed or precise. It depends on the reading that can be offered to the numerical data that synthesize the sound. Thus, the artist reveals associations between the ways of storing transcendent knowledge for culture and those of building aesthetic or harmonic solutions; which could be understood as a way of reaffirming the identification of authenticity with beauty that other artists have insisted on throughout history. Sources also show the complexity involved in the operation of detecting, interpreting and structuring harmonies. It involves research, intelligence, sensitivity and coordination.


Sources represents an enormous hermeneutic task, where can we start?


Let's start with photography, not only because this is a space dedicated to the photographic medium, but also because today we need to understand photography as if it had just appeared. There are many new things. Moreover, since it began its life, photography has experienced an accelerated and permanent development, contributing greatly to knowledge in many different fields and multiplying exponentially the problems related to the use of photographic resources, especially in what has to do with fallacious statements. It is not easy to distort or confront them if one does not know the medium and its principles, as well as the tools involved in the photographic and post-photographic operation.


Sources confronts us with the chain of purposes and translations we face in every question or aspect we try to understand or know.

If we think of the series as an aesthetic result of a scientific process, how do we interpret the role of its artist, Andrés Ramírez Gaviria?


The artist understands the world in an entirely different way. His perspective is not comparable to that of many others. It is all-encompassing and profound and this does not mean that others' is not, but the artist's mind is structured in the territory of sensitivity. From there, the faces of each question change radically. They are turned upside down, subjected to crossings that allow for readings that otherwise would not arise. Think of what old, poor, battered shoes represented by Van Gogh mean, or what the sunsets that many have recorded over the centuries in the hands of Monet mean. In the first case, an ordinary, tattered garment brought into focus by an artist can become something magnificent. In the second case, the magnificence that has always been seen in the splendor of beautiful sunsets becomes a relativistic reading of time and space; of existence in general. And this pointing out of the relative is not rational, it is not intellectual, it is something profoundly beautiful, shocking, human and existential. A capable and sensitive perspective can change the narrative or the story we have built.

I quote from Sources' curatorial text for Pinta BAphoto 2023: "Before being visual forms, these abstractions were electromagnetic waves captured by radio telescopes. The light years through which the signals examined in the observatory traveled were mathematically condensed and from that information the two-dimensional images were consolidated". Can we say then that Sources employs photography as a tool of translation? In what way does it "reaffirm the identification of the true with the beautiful"?


There is something Olafur Eliasson has said when similarly asked about his installations: the body recognizes and knows where there is truth. The body adjusts in an unspeakable way. Going further into this explanation I would say that the body is more than trunk with arms and legs. Body is everything we count on to be here. When we are talking about sensitive language, that adjustment that occurs between understanding and feelings, added to the emotion that triggers the click, is the one that has the word.


"The naturalization of photographic uses in the most varied everyday spaces (...) has overshadowed and neglected the necessary reflection on the scope and the representative limitations of the medium". What reactions do you suppose or seek to awaken in the viewer of the fair?


Art triggers comprehensions and changes in perspectives that transform. Impossible to say how, but it happens. When this happens, in each case a path opens up, a time in which information is processed subjectively.


Finally, where does the reason for traveling so far back come from? How can we understand the origin of form before form?


So far, we have accepted that there was a big bang and that it occurred in the great space, in the infinite, in the center of the great mystery. This that we are now is not detached from the first and has not ceased to be united. What is the origin of existence? Where does it come what we are and what surrounds us? We will always try to figure it out; always supported by the visions of the most committed, the most poetic, the most courageous, the most dreamers, the most studious, the most consecrated. For others, who are not yet in the majority, there was no big bang. To sustain their approaches, they also have to invest all their strength to lead us along the paths of understanding, and that, accepting unimaginable limits, which will remain despite the most surprising pulses.

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