THE DREAMS OF MATTER By Ana Martínez Quijano
In this series of photographs, Jorge Miño exhibits the stark contrasts of contemporary megacities: a solid and stable city stands against a changing city that tends to dematerialize. These images focus on the sensorial qualities of materials; in them, attraction to the real often bows down to an interest in geometrical abstraction. Miño brings hundreds of images back from his travels, and then chooses the ones lacking in distinctive elements that would make them identifiable. This absence is closely bound to other qualities in these images. The framing reveals strange architectures, while the light places emphasis on textures, the sensuality of the surfaces. The urban landscape becomes ripe terrain for quiet contemplation, though the meaning of the image does not reside in what it represents or evokes but rather in the image itself; its purpose is tied to visual questions and the passage of time. There is a still city, built with the austerity and rigor of concrete. The vision of these basic forms makes us imagine what might remain standing in a future of desolation. Curves flow in the hollows of some of these constructions, hollows accentuated by evanescent white and a spectrum of dark grays. One powerful image shows a roof made from enormous concrete cubes. The drawing formed by the structure’s lines guides our vision, taking it towards an illusory vortex. Though the vanishing point lies outside the composition, the eye seeks it out. The attraction of the perfect mono-focal perspective is heightened by the power of rough materials. The overhead perspective of the boxed-in architecture gives the photograph a monumental quality. The lens is the eye of a sculptor. In stark contrast we can make out ghostly presences; staircases that come apart amidst deceptive reflections and gleams. Caught in a timeless space like a dream, the images show the memory of what they have been and a glimpse of what they will be, while the present eludes us. The sense of motion in the hypnotic landscape strains the visibility of the object, which tends to disappear. The loss of forms clashes with the analytical vision of static constructions, and things cease to be eternal in a universe that has shattered into a thousand pieces. “Nothing is certain except change itself,” states Marshall Berman, and then goes on to quote Marx when he says, “All that is solid melts into air.” Made from paradox and confrontation, Miño’s photographs focus on the tensions of the world today.