MA Studies > Fine art > Fine art alumnus > Leonardo Vargas

Leonardo Vargas

Alumnus
ZAPPING THE SURFACE
Jo. (Detail) Mixed media on wooden panel and projection. Variable dimensions. 2010
It's a CZ 515239! . Notebook behind framed glass. 2010
..... Mixed media on glass and reproduced drawing behind framed glass. 2010
Jo. (Detail) Mixed media on wooden panel and projection. Variable dimensions. 2010
It's a CZ 515239! . Notebook behind framed glass. 2010
..... Mixed media on glass and reproduced drawing behind framed glass. 2010


……….……__   __    ___    __......... …. ….
 

“From the moment that there is meaning, there are nothing but signs” [1]
 

There`s always something arbitrary within every act of communication. Think of images that surround us for example. I cannot help thinking about image as the perfect excuse for addressing this given the fact of their constant presence and given the fact that they constitute for me the means through which I relate with my surrounding. Many of them come from advertising, many others come from TV, the web, magazines, museums and many different and unsuspected sources. Most of them have been thought to function as instruments from their own conception; so every element, every color and shape, every subtle detail is involved in this. They always seem to be asking for something from us. It may be to take a direction, to use them for a specific task, to buy some product or to get aware of something they suppose we should know.

But on the other hand Images have been strongly developing a wandering condition[2].  We run into images everywhere and at every time, we find them without being lost, we find that access to them is not only immediate but is also immediate the possibility of transferring them. All of this makes the image forget about its charge and its burden of being a reproduction of an original and thus it becomes something different, becomes an “empty sign”, becomes a surface.   

I am interested in inquiring the possibilities offered by this wandering condition of image. This condition of “emptiness” that was acquired from the moment they got rid of the signified, the meaning, the reference.  I consider this operation not to be complete yet. If they got rid of the meaning they got rid of a certain kind of meaning, certain way of being looked at. My project aims to reflect on the effects of the “loss” of this way of being looked at that images got rid of -which possibly still remains now as ruins of something, as some kind of trace: a "mark of the absence of a presence, an always-already absent present"- It does not seem very likely that they ask to be filled with new meaning or references. They are content themselves, but again, may be the sort of content that demands some kind of presence or that demands this presence to be moved.   

The project focuses on exploring, playing and moving through these surfaces (theoretically and on studio practice) to rethink the order of a visual condition from certain specific visual languages (drawing, painting- but also the open possibilities within the network of relationships they create with other languages since this condition is present). I consider the activity of zapping for example.  Seating in front of the TV Box –or lab-top- you place yourself before a sea of surfaces, moving through them going from one place to another, forward and backwards going through time and space stopping deliberately –or not deliberately- where you want –or do not want- staying as long or as short wherever you go, moving in and out. Consider the transparency effect that this could have in one´s mind, where traces of the last channel or track you have just moved out from still remain while you are watching another one and moving on and on, constructing your own interface while wandering through the levels of intensity of different channels, images, surfaces in an ongoing chain that  sometimes seems to remind something lost, while  at the same time  it finds  another something .The idea is to start a jorney across disparate territories to ascertain an unassumed frame of reference within images. 

 

Leonardo Vargas 

 http://leonardovargas.weebly.com/
 


 


 


[1] DERRIDA, Jaques. “Of Grammatology”

[2] BUCK-MORSS, Susan. “Visual Studies and Global Imagination”, Lecture at Tate modern June 2004.   The author discusses about the promiscuous nature of image and the implications this fact has on trying to find an original context and property.
 


 


Back