ARTPIL Profiles of the Arts
On The Periphery by Sinziana Velicescu
Published by Aint–Bad

This is God’s country,
South seeking solstice

On roads leading no
where, crossing nothing.

But today, there are two
suns in the sky

With heat hung arid
over the asphalt.

The migraine of a
wasted afternoon

Like a bayonet
driving derelict.

          – from I, Faust

 

I have seen these urban scapes. I have taken walks past abandoned buildings, midday, in an area where the sidewalk simply ends. I have observed the composition of everyday things: a window grating, a lamp post, an aeration vent haphazard on a stucco wall. Or perhaps a street sign or a strident branch against a perfect sky, and the inevitable static building façade. . . Often incoherent in its banality, these staple subjects of any photography student’s first batch signify nothing to anyone really other than the person taking the photo. The act of capturing the moment somehow posits importance on their passage, uninteresting the first time and now captured to revisit, resulting in images which often invite the discussion of the very validity of photography.

Sinziana Velicescu, however, one of last year’s 30 Under 30 Women Photographers, in her series On the Periphery, is an example of this seemingly simplistic subject, too often over-used, but executed in such a manner as to be exceptional in its artistic results.

 

 

 

Here, they are not the loud or kitsch neon signs of Las Vegas attractions, but the balanced lines and palettes of pale pigments charting a geography of abandonment in Los Angeles’s alienating landscape.

Her work is a minimalist and abstract approach, a modern chronicling of a quiet land surveyor, completely separated of sentimentality. It is the dialectical opposite of Eggleston’s chaotic scenes, pungent with color, like the naked bulb hanging from the blood red ceiling, or the bright blue tricycle overpowering the frame’s foreground, shot from the ground.

 

 

 

The stillness and the depth of field of the abstract backdrops of her images at times invoke paintings, some of David Hockney’s pool series, or the subdued tonal range of Edward Hopper, the light and shadows, the lonely story told but without the human protagonist. But the movement is there in her images, the encroachment of the sharp shadows, for instance, which is another elusive subject she succeeds in capturing.

Her’s is the anti subject, the study of absence, perfectly framed, on the periphery. Calm. Placid. The new existentialism. It is something between street photography and a kind of meta urban photojournalism in what she describes as an exploration of “human intervention with nature in landscapes that have undergone political, social, or environmental change.”

This is the millennial view on an eroding urban landscape. The publication of her series is a documentation of time, bracketed in images of framed surfaces of space.

Sun-baked or rain-streaked, her elements are cinder blocks, brick, painted cement, metal posts, in the circumstances of the midday sun.

One imagines the method, tripod poised, aperture closed, waiting for the shadow to enter the square chamber, balanced and perfect in its harmony.

 

On The Periphery / Sinziana Velicescu
Forward by Matthew Hong
10.25″ x 8.5″, 96 pages / Perfect Bound, Edition Size 500
Published by : Aint–Bad / Printed in the Netherlands
Purchase the book >

Recent Articles
Artecinema Festival / 22nd Edition
October 19-22, 2017 / Naples
A selection of documentaries on the leading artists, architects and photographers of…
A selection of documentaries on the leading artists, architects and photographers of the last fifty years, presented in…
FIAC 2017
October 19-22, 2017 / Paris
FIAC International Contemporary Art Fair for its 44th edition will host a…
FIAC International Contemporary Art Fair for its 44th edition will host a careful selection of leading international galleries…
Touch of Time / Magdalena Jetelová
Til Nov 19, 2017 / National Gallery Prague
Magdalena Jetelová’s installation, prepared especially for the National Gallery in Prague, transforms…
Magdalena Jetelová’s installation, prepared especially for the National Gallery in Prague, transforms the Small Hall of the Trade…
DOCfield Festival Barcelona
October 19-30, 2017
DOCfield Barcelona celebrates its fifth edition reflecting on the subject of human…
DOCfield Barcelona celebrates its fifth edition reflecting on the subject of human mobility and the journey in its…
Rencontres Photographiques du 10e
Oct 17 - Nov 18 / Paris
Fetart, the organiser of the Circulation(s) festival in collaboration with the 10th…
Fetart, the organiser of the Circulation(s) festival in collaboration with the 10th Arrondissement Council annonce the 7th Rencontres…
ARTPIL / Prescription 10.14.17
The week's buttoning & unbuttoning
Last week we took a knee for a moment of silence in…
Last week we took a knee for a moment of silence in light of recent worldly affairs. This…
On The Periphery by Sinziana Velicescu
Published by Aint–Bad

This is God’s country,
South seeking solstice

On roads leading no
where, crossing nothing.

But today, there are two
suns in the sky

With heat hung arid
over the asphalt.

The migraine of a
wasted afternoon

Like a bayonet
driving derelict.

          – from I, Faust

 

I have seen these urban scapes. I have taken walks past abandoned buildings, midday, in an area where the sidewalk simply ends. I have observed the composition of everyday things: a window grating, a lamp post, an aeration vent haphazard on a stucco wall. Or perhaps a street sign or a strident branch against a perfect sky, and the inevitable static building façade. . . Often incoherent in its banality, these staple subjects of any photography student’s first batch signify nothing to anyone really other than the person taking the photo. The act of capturing the moment somehow posits importance on their passage, uninteresting the first time and now captured to revisit, resulting in images which often invite the discussion of the very validity of photography.

Sinziana Velicescu, however, one of last year’s 30 Under 30 Women Photographers, in her series On the Periphery, is an example of this seemingly simplistic subject, too often over-used, but executed in such a manner as to be exceptional in its artistic results.

 

 

 

Here, they are not the loud or kitsch neon signs of Las Vegas attractions, but the balanced lines and palettes of pale pigments charting a geography of abandonment in Los Angeles’s alienating landscape.

Her work is a minimalist and abstract approach, a modern chronicling of a quiet land surveyor, completely separated of sentimentality. It is the dialectical opposite of Eggleston’s chaotic scenes, pungent with color, like the naked bulb hanging from the blood red ceiling, or the bright blue tricycle overpowering the frame’s foreground, shot from the ground.

 

 

 

The stillness and the depth of field of the abstract backdrops of her images at times invoke paintings, some of David Hockney’s pool series, or the subdued tonal range of Edward Hopper, the light and shadows, the lonely story told but without the human protagonist. But the movement is there in her images, the encroachment of the sharp shadows, for instance, which is another elusive subject she succeeds in capturing.

Her’s is the anti subject, the study of absence, perfectly framed, on the periphery. Calm. Placid. The new existentialism. It is something between street photography and a kind of meta urban photojournalism in what she describes as an exploration of “human intervention with nature in landscapes that have undergone political, social, or environmental change.”

This is the millennial view on an eroding urban landscape. The publication of her series is a documentation of time, bracketed in images of framed surfaces of space.

Sun-baked or rain-streaked, her elements are cinder blocks, brick, painted cement, metal posts, in the circumstances of the midday sun.

One imagines the method, tripod poised, aperture closed, waiting for the shadow to enter the square chamber, balanced and perfect in its harmony.

 

On The Periphery / Sinziana Velicescu
Forward by Matthew Hong
10.25″ x 8.5″, 96 pages / Perfect Bound, Edition Size 500
Published by : Aint–Bad / Printed in the Netherlands
Purchase the book >