Susan Sontag states: “Photographs turn the present into past, make contingency into destiny. Whatever their degree of “realism,” all photographs embody a “romantic” relation to reality.” The exhibition The Frame Eternal continues this conversation but argues that it is through photography that Time is defeated and offers a precise capturing of a moment and preserves that moment. The artists in this collective exhibition, wether they manipulate the object depict, or trap a living entity in a moment - have effectively stopped the clock on that moment, and though in reality the action depicted has moved on - the photograph preserves and highlights the moment, thus rendering it immortal.
Artist Hans Withoos, takes the notion of capturing the moment in all the works in this collection, but one that stands out is Ice Flowers, here Withoos, presents an orchestrated image that travels from the past, as seen in the sailing boats in the background , to the present through the techniques employed to freeze the white peonies. His depiction of fragile flowers, frozen, but breaking through the ice argue the theme of the exhibition by juxtaposing the fragility of the flowers, the temporality of ice - and traps them in this moment - quite reminiscent of Keats “Ode on a Grecian Urn” where the moments depicted on the urn will never change, they will never die, they will never fade - rendering the urn and the poem as both Truth and Beauty - here Withoos has accomplished the same.
Marianne Sanche, contrary to Withoos, creates her own flowers, in her Fluers du Mal series, thereby not only being able to capture a moment, but also to be the creator of the object itself. The artist has often taken the role of creator, but there Sanche has created something that is unique to her, her own interpretation of the object and in so doing one can suggest that not only is she addressing Time, but the very fragility of the natural world in which we inhabit.
Kindle & Gonzalez in some ways, like Withoos, look to the past and bring it to modernity. In Liaison, the viewer is looking at a 360 image of a kitchen that due to time has been over taken, but not with elements of decay - instead there is an explosion of flowers and like flowers placed to honor , these flowers pay homage to a time past, a time now immortalized in their composition.
Olga Kulakova, also traps time in her Frozen Flowers Compositions - reinforcing what Withoos has also presented the viewer, but where only the buds of his bouquet are frozen, Kulakova traps the full stem. It is clear why things are frozen, but to photograph them frozen only enhances the notion of the fragility of the object, and although frozen, Kulakova argues that the strongest preserver is the photograph.
Rey Zorro is an artist focused on presenting works that she refers to as “Dis Installation Art” and to do this, she utilizes many differing mediums to come to what we see in the exhibition. In her Rose Series, we see roses, that seem to be breaking away from their form, from their signified representation - but what Zorro is asking here is are these no longer roses? In so doing she is questioning not only the timelessness of the image but also stereotypes and forcing a more open understanding of what surrounds us - a more ‘user-friendly’ way of approaching the world we inhabit.
Lastly Ted Lau shows his mastering of the battle of time in his series: The Kiss, where he captures birds in flight in many moments to what he concludes is a kiss. Once again, going back to Keats and the immortality that art brings - Lau has captured these moments, freezing them forever in moments of pleasure and bliss, in the viewer’s eye, forever protecting them and the moment from the world.
All in all, this exhibition has found a way to protect the object from decay, from the battle with Time, leaving the viewer with only beauty.