Liliana Medina


I have always been intrigued by the need to believe, both mine and others. Our beliefs might be different but it is the actual need that I question. As well I question the similarity of the condition of believing as a collective experience more so than an individual, but having the individual as the base in order to understand the other. All throughout history this need to believe has been a human concern, a quest to understand.

This is a photo documentary that explores the spiritual connections of our condition of being. It is a body of work that presents the physical expressions of such connections, expressions that sometimes find themselves outside of the person, and at other times, in the space within. It also presents the fear and darkness of what is unknown that we need to believe in, the constant questioning and the control those questions have upon our lives. Photography is my way of searching the human condition. It is the medium I choose to express and share my experiences.

In contrast to the straight photo documentary stream of photography this body of work is not particular to a certain group of people, a certain faith or a specific space. It is more about the condition of being, about the relationship between the individual experience and the collective, rather than simply the individual. We are conscious of being in relation to something else. As Minor White said, “Photography is making visible the invisible”.

It is by association of the different meanings brought up by each image that a whole new meaning and understanding arises. A new rhythm is created between the images themselves, and between the images and the beholder. The beholder becomes an active viewer that moves with the images, both closer and further away. There is an interplay between the sizes and the grain of the images that creates new forms and spaces within those spaces and forms already created by the images. It is for the viewer to experience them fully with all her/his senses. As Minor White said, “Meaning appears in the space between the images, in the mood they raise in the beholder”. The images range in size from 5x7” to 30x40”.

The images themselves are not contained to their frame, they are the key work in the sentence they create. They present a base for the viewers' imagination to understand or question the rest, bringing the viewer inside the reality of the frame yet not being limited by it. As Derrida said, “The frame allows appearances to appear, representations to be represented and images to be imagined”.

Today's world is based on appearances, the physical aspect of things as a presentation of reality, as the essence. The medium of photography is in itself a physical projection of those appearances that we name realities. This body of work is based upon those physical expressions of the essence. Everything in life exists as a duality, every presence of a part invokes the other.

Essence: the absence of it all and the presence of the soul.

Photographs by Natalie Schonfeld.©2000

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