La mirada líquida, of Michael Kenna
"The job of a photographer is not to produce decorations for other people`s walls and homes; it`s a real voyage of discovery.”
Despite being one of the most successful photographers on the international circuit, the first solo exhibition of the work of Michael Kenna in Spain was held for the first time only in 2013, at Michael Dunev Art Projects in Torroella de Montgri (Girona). Visits to the gallery during the month that the exhibition lasted was constant, with daily visits from people (especially photographers) who came from Barcelona expressly to see in the flesh works that they only knew from books. Many were surprised by the size of photographs (of approximately 20 x 20 centimetres), commenting that they had imagined them in larger format. Kenna states that “Size does matter! Most people stand about ten inches away to see these prints. This is a very intimate distance. The bigger the photograph, the farther away you get, and suddenly it’s an object you’re looking at.... For me smaller is better.”
With more than 400 solo exhibitions worldwide, works in the permanent collections of almost one hundred museums and over twenty books published, the work of Michael Kenna is internationally renown for its serene meditative qualities, its warm and minimalist composition and its exquisite laboratory technique.
For thirty years Kenna has been photographing the natural world, architectural details, parks, factories and industrial spaces captured with long exposures - some as long as eight hours - with his medium format camera. Eschewing digital technologies, he opts for the traditional darkroom, printing each silver gelatine copy himself. And along the way he has created a school: his influence is felt in the work of many photographers, when not mere clumsy imitations.
My work is closer to haiku poetry than to prose," he observes, and it is the precise distillation of each element in the image what gives his photographs their simple light.
The result is a work that embodies a timeless and silent essence, evoking another world, tamed landscapes where the human presence is evident by its absence. He is interested in spaces where man has lived together with nature for centuries, and this interaction with the environment has left its mark.
Places like Europe or Asia allow him to develop that essential ingredient in his work which is "the feeling of memories and stories and environments that live in the landscape
Michael Kenna’s exhibition has been provided by Michael Dunev Art Projects, a center for contemporary art located in Torroella de Montgrí (Baix Empordà).
Place: Museu Arxiu Municipal de can Banús. Marqués de Barbarà, 9. Vilassar de Dalt