Artists Opening Reception
Saturday, June 15th, 2019, 5-8 pm
Gallery 169 is proud to announce and show the works of Tomás Casademunt. Born in Barcelona in 1967, Tomás learned photography by working as a journalist in a regional daily newspaper in Cataluña, covering all kind of events and honing his skills armed with his 35 millimeter camera.
He performed his first series of portraits in the Cuba of 1990 ́s, six months photographing the most important musician faces. “Son de Cuba” was his first book, published in Barcelona in 1992. It was relaunched a new version of this book in Mexico, country where he has been residing since 1995.
In 2000 he published the “Factory of Saints” book, essay around religious imaginary in Spain and Mexico. In 2006 he photographed the Zapotec tomb of Mitla, dazzled by the old stone glow under the Moon light. For eight years he conducted research in several states of Mexican Republic in search of "Day of Death offerings," collected in a book titled “Death on the Altar” in 2008. One year later he published “Maya Puuc”, comprised of large format pictures of the Mayan palaces in a long night exposures. Tomás has been visiting buildings under construction for years, working around architecture. He published “Obra Negra” in 2013. Today he is preparing the edition of the book “Spectrographs”, a story of the dramatic transformation of the urban landscape in Mexico City. He is member of the Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Arte FONCA from 2006.
Tomás states: "Umbrales (Thresholds) is an exhibition of select images from a series I have worked on for twenty years. I’ve always had a fascination with interdimensional doorways and the existential rays of light shining through them. The stones of ancient Mexico emanate a powerful energy that pull on me. Ultimately, that force is what has driven me to where I am today and to become who I am today. The tomb of Mitla in Oaxaca, illuminated by the Moon, stepped tiles that are talismans of life; the Mayan arches in Yucatan, Chac’s face invoking the rain; the unfathomable matrix of the cenotes, the natural underworld; the altars for the dead that bloom every November 1 and the open doors for the departed loved ones crossing the threshold of their absence.
In my photographs the stone emanates a spiritual dimension. The ancient Mexican ruins radiate a powerful energy that attract in a very profound way. It is with my large format camera that I seek the energy, existential flares and tracks of ancient life in order to imagine how life was in the Mesoamerican territory two thousand years ago… My work also explores the transformation power of the rain.
I build my own cameras to personalize my working process. By listening the movement of the stones, catching the moonlight in long exposures I achieve the maximum of my spiritual and alchemist desire. I envision the silver as an electrical receptor in a latent state; which lies in the hidden temples with their dimensional doors. Today I work with multiple exposures over the same photographic plate, capable of resuming the space-time spiral in a single visual impact.
Entrances, exits, transit points, flashing lights, glints, shadows, arches, revelatory dreams, dimensional doorways… Thresholds.
As a child I used to run home from school stepping on shadows along the sidewalk; the shadows of pedestrians, cars, bicycles, dogs, clouds, trees and doorways. I didn’t know then that those dark silhouettes would forever enthrall me or that the purpose of my life would always be to peer into these fascinating thresholds. Now, I see my own shadow, and in it, I recognize the essence of my being.
For me, the most relevant threshold opens when we close our eyes, look into the indecipherable well of our being and catch a glimpse of our inner light. All or nothing… I am my own altar."
- Tomás Casademunt