Guy Tillim, O Futuro Certo

Curated by Marco Delogu and Flavio Scollo

8 November- 26 December 2017
MACRO, Via Nizza 138, Roma

Why this exhibition? The truth is, I don’t really know. I could go ahead and explain myself, describe the context of the images, but it would be like building a wall to describe a field of meaning. What I find interesting in images defies a literary code, its vocabulary lies elsewhere. Perhaps it is musical. You have to look at it, listen to it, and therein lies the paradox.

What is exchanged in photography is often stereotype, each successful image is in part a resistance to that impulse alone. Easy to make, but if it does not speak directly of a deep experience of the world, it is nothing much. Experience of the world that is rich, nuanced, detailed, ambiguous, is reduced to signifiers that confirm how I’d like it be. I look at the photographs I have made and they are such pale echoes of an experience. Let them be ambiguous, un-emphatic, that is enough for now.

I will not deny the photograph’s ability to witness, to people the past, to chronicle events, but to me photography has strained to penetrate the mansions of memory. My own childhood is like a dream, others inhabit it as if in a dream, they cannot know it. We will agree on the documentary evidence available that it existed, certain things happened, and the photographs will be the pillars of a myth that will float in an impenetrable haze of oblivion.

I have come to be convinced that photographs are impartial, or should strive to be. Their objectivity, despite the subjectivity of seeing, or indifference to certitude is their achievement, if any. If they have a partisanship it should lie with a scene seeking an audience, not with who’s looking at it. So in making photographs I try to frame a window onto a world that in its way looks back through me or my camera and asks the simple question always worth asking: who am I? I humour myself and think that these photographs are steps towards that window.

Guy Tillim


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