Totems for a Flattened Now by Nando Alvarez-Perez
The past is ever present and the ghost of the future lurks within it. Totems for a Flattened Now juxtaposes photographs of sculptures of antiquity in their contemporary contexts and still lifes created in Alvarez-Perez’ studio using a variety of second hand materials and found photographs. They explore the ways by which images, myths, and symbols are recycled, transformed, and re-represented according to culture’s ever changing needs and desires. Placed into a system of modular frames which can be altered and reconfigured at will, the pieces exist in a permanent state of material and semantic incompleteness, constantly hovering between photography and sculpture, image and object. Together they mine the histories of art and mark making to express the artist’s ambivalence toward the contemporary condition of images, concepts, and perceptions in this new world in which the real and the virtual so often overlap and history seems little more than a flickering hallucination.
Working across all photographic genres, Alvarez-Perez’ work deals with the nature of photographic perception itself as he creates an ambiguous, open-ended archive of images that reveals and revels in their capacity for slippage and uncertainty. Together his images constitute a symbolic ecosystem of shared materials, objects, signs, and colors–translations from the material world into the perceptual–as he plays within the memory of photography and imagines what its future could be.