Trying to make it real (Part I & II)
Bruno V. Roels
“I think images are worth repeating"
Paperback, 220 x 300mm, 336 pag, Multilingual: English/French
Bringing many years of work together in a single place, here on the page, rather than on the walls of a museum or gallery, we can consider both senses in which Roels thinks images are worth repeating. In the obstinate and dedicated labour of printing and arranging serial, but different, versions of single images together; and then also with regard to the overall effect of bringing these iterations of themselves into the same space. But there is another sense in which we might find Roels’s work echoing not only itself, but that of those that came before him; and that, funnily enough, is in his refusal to take himself, or his work, too seriously. Just seriously enough, it seems, to invest time, effort, and skill into the production of his complex and subtly nuanced work, but never to the point, that, like Ruscha before him, (the artist who made Various Small Fires and Milk), he finds himself unable to resist, and more importantly, to play with, the constraints of his own logic. A little like Dalí too, perhaps, who, captivated as he was by the potential of photography to document and catalogue the world, was also sure that this very capacity would result in us never being able to see anything in the same way, ever again. From ‘the subtlety of aquaria’ as Dalí himself put it ’to the fastest most fleeting gestures of wild animals, the photograph affords us a thousand fragmentary images culminating in a dramatized cognitive totalization.’ That too, is something worth repeating.