Encounters at Tapir Galley Berlin

Curated by Dermis León and Annie Briard at Tapir Gallery Berlin, May 29-June 14, 2019

Being one of the few places in Europe in which traces of history are disappearing, Berlin has as of late become a city of encounters and fleeting moments in peoples lives. New architecture has risen, mixed with the oldest refashioned buildings that survived the Second War and the partition between the allies. The greatest of avenues are redone as if nothing monumental had happened there before. It is not only about gentrification in districts such as Kreuzberg or Neuköln, but also the “beautification” of the surviving and reconstructed buildings in Mitte where the downtown area or the main “cultural hub” of past centuries is located. 

At the same time, any foreigner experiences a closeness to the city, feeling welcome and identified with the energy of alternatives ways of life. The strong presence of nature combined with the scarcely illuminated avenues, missing the luminesce of huge advertising, typical of American cities, invite a flâneur to walk around, trying to capture the city life that is disappearing in contemporary urban settings. In Berlin, bicycles, trolleys, pedestrians –“walkers” – manifest the apparent idea of resistance to assume completely the high capitalist way of life and consumerism.  A photographer-flâneur may experience a desire for “picturing” this fleeting moment between the movement of his body and all things happening around, abandoning himself to the pleasures of “seeing”.

In Zamorano’s experience of “viewing” the daily life of a European city through photography, both the embodied eyes of the artist and the camera device try to capture the flow of all things happening in movement; architecture becomes the only point of reference, but is totally blurred. More than being a flâneur that observes one's interactions, smells, reactions, in front of all displays of consumerism, Zamorano wants to capture fleeting situations in play with the movement of his body and the camera. 

Photography becomes the sculpted construction of the moving image in time, destroying the notion of “document” as such. Here, the light is registered as the fluid color of the brushstroke on the surface of the street taken as canvas. Objects disappear, dissolved in the fluidity of time and space; they appear as things seen through a dream of a hazy memory.  They are persistent images in the retina that the photographer would like to grasp, but in the end they slip away into the evanescent light. 

Using the photographic apparatus as a sensorial extension of his body, the artist moves about the spaces he encounters, scanning the scene back and forth in an ongoing negotiation of the street as a living and ever shifting locale. This form of inquiry mirrors the perceptual act itself, tracing the saccades of the eye as it consumes visual inputs. Through a methodology rooted in existential phenomenology, Zamorano looks at the ephemeral space between the world and ourselves. Here, the task is not depicting reality but rather investigating and documenting the fleeting experience of seeing of what constructs our world.

In this solo exhibition, which includes prints, installation, and interactive sculptural objects, Zamorano presents renderings of his encounters with space while on residency in Berlin in two periods between 2016 and 2018. This show was first exhibited at Mónica Reyes Gallery during April 2019, as part of Capture Photography Festival in Vancouver.