Every conceivable object and its photographic pendant
In Inspired by... a talented young photographer highlights an image that has inspired them throughout their career.
From the catalogue of TEFAF Maastricht 2014
Every conceivable object once probably had a photographic pendant, either as a document or an artistic interpretation. On the one hand it's a lovely and even comforting idea that things are given a second life, but on the other hand it’s a depressing thought that reveals something about our obsession to portray.
The photographic reproduction reduces the three-dimensional space to the flat – easily readable – surface. In every way this is a big help from a commercial and industrial perspective, but also a welcome opportunity on the artistic level. But through that flattening gesture, that transforms (or wants to transform) the object into an easily comprehensible image, another conflict originates. After all, nothing is more decisive than a fixed viewpoint when it comes to leaving an impression.
Obviously, this is one of photography’s main characteristics, but when shooting objects as representations of the original thing, things become somewhat more complicated. It’s an illusion to think the viewer gets to know the object through a picture. In auction catalogues, this kind of images is even more deprived of their readability.
It is, of course, correct to remark that this idea is at odds with what one expects from these kinds of ‘objective overviews’. Nevertheless, in these publications it’s the context that makes the images relevant and provides the overall structure. Footnotes, specifications, references and symbols make the publication credible.
Although this next statement may collide with previous ideas, these images reach their goal: to transform three-dimensional objects into two-dimensional images and by doing so inform and/or excite the viewer. The images an sich turn out to become invisible to the eye. They become a direct view on reality. A perfectly washed window, that seems to cease to exist.
Excerpt from the text The Perfect Document by Thomas Min.
About Thomas Min
Thomas Min (1992) is an artist based in Ghent, Belgium. In 2015 he received his Master in Fine Arts in School of Arts, Ghent. Although photography doens’t always protrude the surface of his work, the photograpchic image will always be present through Mins work. Different approaches result in a combination of two dimensional images and spatial interventions in wich images tend to become freestanding sculptures. Recently his work got selected for .Tiff magazine by FOMU Antwerp, Marres Currents Maastricht and for the group exhibition The Gods Must Be Crazy – Part Photography by Still Gallery, Antwerp. Currently Thomas is working on a book. This will be published by Art Paper Editions and launched May 2016.