Carolina Carrera Saavedra - Fine Art Photography

“This experimental work started with a University assignment in my first photography class while doing my Bachelor’s in Graphic Design, here in Montreal. The exercise was to choose a technique, of many, using the enlarger in the dark room, no camera. Any technique was ok. The result image had to be interesting.

I had only a few hours left for the assignment because I spent 10 hours in the hospital. My mom came to the university with me straight from the hospital, afraid that I would fall sick again alone in the dark room. Before going in, she insisted on smoking her first cigarette of the day. And it was that moment when I had the idea of using direct fire to a plastic and exposed it to photo paper.

I use the enlarger juggling between extreme time exposures and filters. Every image was a surprise to me. That destructive action became an obsession for me. It was like looking through a microscope or a telescope for the first time.

It was so instinctively made one image after another that this assignment turned into a life project that started in the year 2000. I got a good grade but it was only the next year on my second photography class that my new teacher stopped me going through my photos to ask me what was that one image I made.

This technique discovery was no big deal to me, but for my second teacher it was. He started researching about this process and while he spent lots of time doing so, I jumped in and we could only find one photographer that has worked with this process but stopped in a very early stage. His name is Raoul Ubac. He made only a few of this.

My teacher made me only work on that process for the whole semester. No normal assignment for me. I made over 100 images on paper the first year. This is a ongoing project since then. It is endless. There is always new. I continue on my spare time or when I get back from overseas.

The technique and the creation process are very meaningful to me. Without morale, these images became sort of spiritual to me. It is more sensible than the physical eye. It is primitive and unpredictable, completely free and benevolent. Only the touch of the intense heat of my mom’s lighter’s fire, revealed images similar to my life experiences and emotions. Dark dreams, enlightenment, passion, peace, secretive … This action of destruction with fire is creating images in new shape, in form, in space and light. It is a benefit to the soul.

This project became a declaration that I explain it with the title “There is more than what we see”. So they don’t have individual titles or dates because it seems to me that I will limit the reading of each images if I do so.

I am showing people the creation by aggression and resistance of materials resulting into unknown new worlds, landscapes and species in a precise instant.

This work question the images to a metaphysical level into forming objective evidences, pushing the limits of hallucinations, these unseen images are somewhat recognizable. “

Copyright © Carolina Carrera Saavedra. All images are protected by international copyright laws.

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