[ISEA96] Artist Statement: Nadine Salas – The Decisive Moment

Artist Statement

“Photographs do not lie, but liars can photograph”                                                                           _Lewis W. Hine.

Has “the truth” ever found fertile soil in a photograph? Photography has finally come into it’s own right as an art form; it has entered the phase of self-examination. By grace of computer manipulation software I examine photography: its themes, its conventions, its grammar and its visual language. I work these elements; I turn them upside down, I manipulate them, I associate and deconstruct and then trick the viewer into thinking that he is dealing with a conventional photograph. A beautiful picture, eager to please one’s eye, willing to comply with the viewers conventions. How many people just walk past by my pictures, not noticing the chaos lurking beneath the shiny surface, the truth being attacked, twisted by computer algorithms. These photographs are my struggle, dealing with reality, truth, representation, manipulation and ethics. It’s much easier for me to make conventional documentary work, so much easier. But my computer manipulated photographs present a much greater challenge to me: The examination of reality, which I consider one of the most , if not, the most important theme in photography. I am a photographer. My tools are my camera and my computer. I MAKE photographs. Let me paraphrase Fred Ritchin: The “decisive moment” as formulated by Cartier-Bresson, may not refer to when the photographer made the picture, but can refer to when the image was modified.

  • Nadine Salas, the Netherlands