Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Manuel Vazquez's Traces

Manuel Vazquez e-mailed me with a sampling of images from his series Traces, a wonderful project which explores hints of light in social spaces. Vazquez's photographs resemble many of Ray Metzker's street photographs from the early 60's. Their shared affinity for high contrast and sparse composition often transforms the street into veritable stage that acts out the heightened drama of the everyday. In his statement, Vazquez asserts:

"This project researches the visual traces that are left in public spaces. In our daily lives we dwell in public places, where our journeys are filmed and stored as visual codes. The omnipresence of the gaze of surveillance turns the city into a spectacle, and us into actors. Traces looks at the city as a theatrical scenario created with those visual codes, a “theatrum mundi”. Here, each image is a montage of single photographs where the “mise en scène” is deliberated, composed, and where the deep black canvas is an allegory to the city where people are continuously under the spotlight. Traces researches in the anonymity and the exposure to city life.

The intent of this project is to place the observer as a witness of a “spectacle” in places where loneliness and similarity are accentuated."

All photographs from the series Traces

All Images © Manuel Vazquez