“Enigma – A person or thing that is mysterious or difficult to understand.” (Oxford)
A few years ago I got introduced to the work of Abelardo Morell, a Cuban American photographer and Professor Emeritus of Photography at the Massachusetts College of Art. He’s most famous for his “Camera Obscura” project which turns rooms into a camera obscura and photographs them. It was love at first sight. But then, our heroes are rarely as perfect as we think them to be. At the end of one of his galleries I encountered an image of a rather mundane object we all see and touch constantly. My immediate reaction was “Abelardo!!?? Is that the best you could do??? … I can do better.” Enter “Enigma”; an ongoing project to photograph this single object in Morell’s image in as many ways possible.
The images presented here are all of the same subject photographed under the same lighting conditions processed using the same technique with minor variations. What started out appearing to be a simple subject quickly morphed into a very complex, nuanced and elusive one with infinite variation and the capacity to change direction at will. What looked promising in the viewfinder more often than not became far less so on the monitor. What you see here is the distilled result of over a thousand exposures … to date.
Try to decipher them if you must (you know you will) or just enjoy them for their own sake.
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