In Tanizaki’s “In Praise of Shadows” and the Wabi-Sabi aesthetic lies the metaphysical basis of a universe of beauty, that of imperfect, impermanent and incomplete things; an unconventional beauty of discreet and neglected greatness. And can we find greatness in the images of “i”? Will the Western aesthetics rhetoric fail to recognize its ideal of monumental and spectacular beauty in “i”? It should, because “i” don’t have such qualities. “i” are patiently constructed images for patient observers. They are about simplicity and the hidden things, the attempt and the ephemeral: you need to see. Go slow. Look close. And when you look, the dilution of the borders referent reveals itself, proving the images to be raw, corroded and contaminated. The sharp and precise forms of geometric organization were replaced by smooth carving and vaguely defined lines. They don’t have the perfection of fine workmanship. The geometrical organization of the form was eliminated, and it was accepted that they would accommodate themselves in an organic way. They have become naturally imperfect by their own will.
These imperfect and strange images, living in the dark, lurking in the gloom, will eventually fade into oblivion and non-existence. They are an illusion of permanence. They are impermanent.
And are they finished? What will they become and what will they say later? Like all things, the images are in an infinite state of becoming something or in one of dissolving. They are a process. They will never be complete. They survive in a state of incompleteness!
This is what we know and what we accept: the beauty of imperfect, impermanent and incomplete things. A beauty based on the apparent ugliness of the images.
Arlindo Pinto (b. 1962) based in Lisbon, born elsewhere! He likes to think of himself as a photographer…. which he really is since the end of the twentieth century! He’s passionate about art, music and people. Photography is a way for him to connect with mankind.
He teaches photography at Circulo Artístico e Cultural Artur Bual and he is a member of the Photobook Club Lisboa team. He made solo and collective exhibitions and published his work in magazines, photography zines and books. He’s looking for clues about the meaning of life… if there is one.