Lumière 04.03, 2005
|Photograph | Silkscreen on Plexiglass|
|190 x 270 cm|
The big Lumière series which Bustamante began in 1987 consists of old photographs he found in art and architecture magazines and books which are printed on sheets of plexiglass and hang a certain distance from the wall. Here we see places most of us have known since childhood: a classroom, a school playground, a swimming pool. The artist’s purpose is not to reframe those places with new images, as if his photographs were just one more interpretation of the same subject, of that fragile boundary between the familiar and the strange, the everyday and the absurd, the secure and the risky.
This work is set in a kind of interior, picturesque geography, which is also quite typical of his photographs with their permanent connotation of déjà-vu. In works like this we see how the artist strives like a painter in search of a single picture. It does not matter so much that teenagers appear in the image, since he thinks of the photograph as a concept, and actually treats them as if they were people he has known for some time. Bustamante places himself before works like this one as if he were ideally outside the world: he looks at the world and sees people. Just like in the Tableaux he seems to have “fallen from the sky” before an image that once again captures a movement which is slow, arrested, frozen and full of absence.