Caroline Luigi's latest series of photographs continue her earlier explorations in c-print. The theme, once more, is vanitas, with obvious references to the memento mori, popular genre of the 17th and 18th centuries in European painting.
Attributes of death, like skull and hooks, are combined witheveryday objects in order to create an entirely personal inventory of symbols: her attempt at a reading of a past iconography. Photography which, from Barthes' Camera Lucida all the way to Antonioni's Blow-up, may be viewed as a metaphysics of death, now emerges as the ideal medium for the articulation of the artist's specific commentary.
Dissociating herself from any photographic academism introduced by the postmodern appropriations of painting, she raises the iconography of death to a methodological tool through which she investigates the ontological substance of the photographic medium itself.
This investigation is founded in her use of the image-makingvocabulary of "straight photography". Basing herself on this specific idiom, Luigi points out particularities and characteristics that exclusively pertain to the photographic medium. Games of light, shadows, reflecting surfaces, interesting tonal variations point to photography's self-referentiality, transforming a still life depiction into a modernism of the "sublime". The modern elements of "straight" photography, which are omnipresent in her work, give the aesthetic unmistakable pride of place. According to Ranciere, the aesthetic may contain the notion of subversion, as it maintains the possibility to handle any contradiction.
Luigi's iconography, thus, refers us to the tradition of painting; it is a "point of view" that draws upon modernism's "straight" photography and it is in the space created between the two approaches that her "take" is placed. Moving, as it does, between aesthetic and representational regimes - vestiges of the real world and construction, mechanical depiction and artistic creation - photography, in this work, is elevated to a heterogeneous medium, which is able to summarize the ontological questions of contemporary art.
Iro Katsaridou, Art Historian
Works > In progress /2012