On Friday, 29 September at 6.30 pm the Spazio Damiani will be inaugurating Electricities, the first one-man exhibition in Italy of the American photographer David Goldes. Until 26 January 2018, the show will display sixteen photographs from three of his most famous series: Electo-graph, Snake in the Garden and Electricity.
The privileged subject of David Goldes’s artistic work is electric energy: its transmission through various materials and objects; how it behaves in the presence of specific chemical elements; the effects that can be obtained by highlighting the properties and the lyricism of some of its applications. Inspired by the pioneering nineteenth-century experiments with electricity undertaken by such English chemists and physicists as Humphry Davy and Michael Faraday, Goldes reconstructs the settings for their work using common, everyday items: razorblades, glasses, pencils and suchlike. Once this space has been created, the artist is ready to shoot, creating what he calls ‘performing still-life’, or live images that show the effects of the passage of electricity, generating sparks, burns and energy waves. The artist’s principal intention is to reveal and record the unexpected behaviour of the electricity. The result is powerful and visually stunning, as witnessed by the photograph that captures the visible transmission of electricity between two glasses into which the two ends of an electrical cable have been immersed. Another example is the photograph showing the activation of dazzling electrical bridges created between elements drawn with a pencil.
Nevertheless, David Goldes is a visual artist, not a scientist; his photographs do not claim to explain the phenomenon in a scientific way but create a narrative formed of metaphors. At a time when the spread of technology induces us to take the knowledge of what science is for granted, Goldes’s photographs question this conviction with astonishing images. His interdisciplinary investigation extends beyond science and addresses our perception of the deployment of the forces of nature. And the more these forces are made evident by the use of objects that are part of our daily lives, the more the suggestion is effective.
David Goldes’s research celebrates the ingenuity of those who have devoted their lives to explaining the forces governing the universe.
On the occasion of the exhibition, a major monograph entitled Electricities will be published. With a thorough iconographic apparatus and an interview undertaken by art critic David Campany, the volume will offer a reading of the Goldes’s work dedicated to the relationship between art and science. The book will also be offered in a limited edition of 25 copies signed and numbered by the artist and to including a silver gelatine print. Electricity + Water III, the title of the photograph included in the collector’s edition, is part of the Water Being Water series. The image portrays a light bulb immersed in a glass full of water, and the light, which illuminates the base of the glass, is perfectly reflected on the table.