Visual Play
by Estefania Sokoloff

In their project titled “Cross Urban”, Cynthia Lawson Jaramillo’s and Klaus Fruchtnis’ photography is framed in the notion of the current, that is to say, a work that happens parallel to the words that are written on it. This feature accompanies it with adrenaline and risk similar to the one experienced by a parachutist in the moment of launching into the void, pure life.

In the conceptual framework of contemporary art, the concept of transversal time has been explained with much amplitude. Its name corresponds to the necessity of not understanding it as a unidirectional concept but as an implicit quality in the existence of matter as it is located in a determined space-time. Additionally it refers to the capacity of containing various realities at once, simultaneously but not necessarily happening in the same place.

Within this framework of ideas, the above mentioned project uses and abuses its time and infinite capacities inscribing itself in the current. A work methodology that considers the following variables: to be transnational, be current, be collaborative, be a visual reflection. Its reading, therefore, unfolds these variables considering its individuality and simultaneity and in this way inscribing itself in the before mentioned concept of transversal time.

Cynthia Lawson Jaramillo’s work is characterized by using different forms within the concept of superimposition: in its literal application, in other words composing images that use reflection as a resource; superimposing understood as a methodology or formula that allows her to compose the images around one or more concepts. Superimposition from the musical point of view, capable to discern between the singularity of a sound and the totality of a composition. Her visual language is contained in a vast body of work that orients the spectator towards a visualization of urbanity and its accidents. Her work is as reflexive as it is aesthetic accomplishing a very interesting equilibrium which positions her on stage in current art.

Klaus Fruchtnis’ proposal is characterized in inscribing into the image a space-time defined by his present geographic position. In this way his use of the concept of superimposition is evident registering in each image the movement of people through his work who, like presences, roam a space in silence. His plastic proposal analytically registers the borders of his place of residence (which is constantly changing), recognizing his identity and the feeling of home in the affirmation of the regular.

The project “Cross Urban” is the result of a visual analysis by these two artists in which each week they randomly pick a word from a dictionary and each takes a photograph interpreting its definition. The project respects the singularity of the aesthetic approaches conceptualizing and later interpreting the word as a visual entity. This work methodology results in an inexhaustible fountain of possibilities that are exponentially enriched with their application.

“Cross Urban” has the virtue of play, and establishes a very interesting relationship with the time in which it unfolds. A formula with very clear rules and two experienced players to whom additional factors add on such as a geographic triangulation which frames it affirming its transnational particularity. Insofar in that more words happen, the distance between the artists decreases pointing to a clear experience in the exercise of this game:

titanic \tye-TAN-ik\ adjective having great magnitude, force, or power: colossal which denotes a certain shyness with its interpretation. The parallel reading of these two photographs clearly shows differences in their plastic languages.

reify \RAY-uh-fye\ verb to regard (something abstract) as a material or concrete thing: to give definite content and form to (something abstract) a word that serves to exemplify how some of the definitions are so abstract that their visualization results equally confusing and doubtful; more in the visual approach both Fruchtnis and Lawson Jaramillo coincide in punctuating a unique and indefinitely repeating element.

defile \dih-FYLE\ verb to march off in a line integrates their opinions around a context that includes the concept of displacement and communication seemingly as two photographic versions from the same eye.

pukka \PUCK-uh\ adjective genuine, authentic; also: first-class. Two examples of interpretation in which the majesty of a historic monument and the quotidian presence of a purely urban situation proper to our century are superimposed.

The parallel positions considered in a space-time framework are always interesting despite the diversity of media with which we communicate today. Evidently the games of simultaneity establish a challenge, but the star factor in the proposal of these two artists consists in the way in which they launch into the void to construct a visual narrative from a methodology started from scratch, without extravagant pretensions.

The story is told, that is evident, but it is worth underlining that one can savor the respect for the singularity of their languages and the dexterity of each player in this visual story.

Estefania Sokoloff © 2009