Max de Esteban’s overall photographic practice explores socio-political concepts within visual structures of serialization and repetition. With, Proposition One: Only The Ephemeral, he turns his camera toward recent cutting-edge technology—utilized in the creation and communication of art—that is now considered obsolete. Through a time-consuming and meticulous process, he disassembles apparatus such as film projectors, 35mm film cameras, VHS tape players and record players.
Piece-by-piece, the parts are painted white, the machines are then reassembled and photographed at different stages of being re-built. The photographed layers are themselves assembled into a single image, resulting in x-ray-like photographs that are reminiscent of architectural cyanotypes. These exquisite pigment prints provide the viewer with a rare glimpse into the internal workings of retro technology, that are at once beautiful for their simplicity and ingenuously complex in their design. The precision inherent in the photographs bring to mind the idea of a technological taxidermy that removes nostalgia, yet performs the role of memento mori for machines that have become obsolete and may soon be forgotten.
Series: Proposition One: Only The Ephemeral.
Signature: Signed, titled, dated, numbered via label.
Image rights: Max de Esteban
Klompching Gallery, October–December 2011.
Direct from the artist.
About Max de Esteban
Spanish, b. 1959, based in Barcelona, Spain