Esther Canals

Diari de Tarragona
Encuentros cultural supplement
February 2015

CAT   |   ES

«The window is suddenly opened. The light of the full moon illuminates the silk curtain that trembles with the breeze. The rest of the room is plunged into darkness. The shadow of the monster climbs the stairs. She, in bed, trembling. It gets rid of her brother and goes for her, who starts running. He stumbles while moving, but she is afraid. She bumps and falls onto the ground, in the background we see how he is coming.»

Despite being surrounded by images, when they leave us alone with them without any word that take us by the hand, we are bewildered. Especially if those images are silent, dark, disfigured; different images from which we are accustomed (explosions of colour, clear and simple messages, recognizable forms); mysterious images... We become disturbed and we feel a characteristic strangeness, that which produces mystery. The mystery as a visual resource.

A resource which is used, consciously and unconsciously, by the photographer Alexandre Ayxendri. That is intuited surfing his website, a place designed in detail, sober, without fanfare. A purely visual place. Mysterious. The mystery begins at the moment when nobody tells us when these images were fired, where, how, or why. We cannot even see the face of the person who did it! They are shots whose bullets approach us without knowing where they come from nor with what intention. We will have to accept the confusion. Travelling through these images with our instinct and our knowledge as unique navigational instruments. Let's interpret just like that because that is the freedom which the author gives us.

Whispers, unfinished sentences, lost sensations. Photographs, some almost frames, volatile, which are disconcerting and fascinate you, they distort the time and the space. Fragments of an introspective puzzle of which abstract intimacy encrypts the narration. Nobody better than Rosetta Stone's cinematographic references to begin assembling the pieces: the shadows, the tonal contrasts and the dreamlike lighting along with blurred images do not represent a reality formally complete and obvious, but they convey emotions, just like it happens in the German expressionism. We find the same lost scenes which are used in classic horror cinema, with the pre-eminence of B movies offscreen and the role with the symbolic and suggestive which can lead us to Hitchcock.

The particular use of the black and white takes us to the old films, to the silent film; even to the visual noise in some of the photographs (grain, textures, dust, scratches, and movement) recalls the characteristic buzzing of the film projector. Beyond cinema, this haunting, mysterious, timeless, spooky, ambiguous universe is fed by the visual culture in general and of that so reproduced need to express the passing of time, the memory of veiled presences. Intimate memories that disappear melted into the darkness. The eternal poetics of death.

Alexandre Ayxendri's work is a mix between language and instinct. Shape and collected images from fascinations, nourished of homages. Turned into waste memory. The mystery as a beginning and end.