On the Periphery
by Sinziana Velicescu

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 recorded 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 brightly colored 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.”

Her work is a minimalist and abstract approach, a modern chronicling of a quiet land surveyor, completely separated of sentimentality.

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 by 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
Visit the publication page >

First Look 2023
Feb 1 – Mar 31, 2023
Every photograph tells a story. A portfolio allows artists to explore the complexities of their subject, and provide context...
+
Interior
Nov 10, 2022 – Feb 3, 2023
The exhibition Interior is conceived as a gathering. Each work a portrait in one sense or another, they share...
+
Inflorescence / Ximena Garrido-Lecca
Portikus / Nov 12, 2022 – Feb 12, 2023
Garrido-Lecca has successfully managed to recreate a moment divided in time and space, imbued with the themes dearest to...
+
New Year / 2023
Semantic Shift, Option Delete
Again, we arrive at another year. 2022 was unsparing of conflict and confusion, uncertainty, and the highs and lows...
+
Larry Amponsah / The Soil From Which We Came
Jan 11 – Feb 17, 2023
This exhibition continues the artist’s experimentation through collage and painting, evoking an awareness of interconnectivity and focus on contemporary...
+
In the Eye of the Storm
Nov 29, 2022 – Apr 30, 2023
The exhibition presents the ground-breaking art produced in Ukraine in the first decades of the twentieth century, showcasing trends...
+
Works & Collections Online
ARTPIL / Prescription .134
Arpil is proud to announce the long awaited Works & Collections with unique contemporary art pieces, limited edition photography,...
+
Navigating North
Oct 7, 2022 – Apr 2, 2023
Showcasing the Jenny & Antti Wihuri Foundation Collection, this exhibition investigates links between the north and south. The themes...
+
First Look 2023
Feb 1 – Mar 31, 2023
Every photograph tells a story. A portfolio allows artists to explore the complexities of their subject, and provide context...
+
Interior
Nov 10, 2022 – Feb 3, 2023
The exhibition Interior is conceived as a gathering. Each work a portrait in one sense or another, they share...
+
Inflorescence / Ximena Garrido-Lecca
Portikus / Nov 12, 2022 – Feb 12, 2023
Garrido-Lecca has successfully managed to recreate a moment divided in time and space, imbued with the themes dearest to...
+
New Year / 2023
Semantic Shift, Option Delete
Again, we arrive at another year. 2022 was unsparing of conflict and confusion, uncertainty, and the highs and lows...
+
Larry Amponsah / The Soil From Which We Came
Jan 11 – Feb 17, 2023
This exhibition continues the artist’s experimentation through collage and painting, evoking an awareness of interconnectivity and focus on contemporary...
+
In the Eye of the Storm
Nov 29, 2022 – Apr 30, 2023
The exhibition presents the ground-breaking art produced in Ukraine in the first decades of the twentieth century, showcasing trends...
+
Works & Collections Online
ARTPIL / Prescription .134
Arpil is proud to announce the long awaited Works & Collections with unique contemporary art pieces, limited edition photography,...
+
Navigating North
Oct 7, 2022 – Apr 2, 2023
Showcasing the Jenny & Antti Wihuri Foundation Collection, this exhibition investigates links between the north and south. The themes...
+