v o l u m e
a u t o r e s
Alexandru Crisan, Branislav Fabijanic, Dmitry Pitenin, Gérard Verbecelte, Jean-Paul Soujol Benedetti, Renate Wasinger, Pierre Pellegrini, Steffen Ulbrich, Yalçin Varnali
e d i t o r
d e s i g n
e d i ç ã o
i m p r e s s ã o
i s b n
978 989 35190 5 9
Because artists do shorthand, not clickbaits. Because all revelations should be concise. Because Minimalism is still a safe space for revelations, even in our first quarter of the 21st century.
what is minima?
It’s a gathering place. One paper artistic network. Not necessarily a social one, mind you, because photographers are only social when they need to be.
Did I say safe place? Well, that depends on what is a minimalist image, or rather on what the viewer values as one. If we turn, sheepishly, to the all-mighty Merriam-Webster, minimalism is “a style or a technique that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity”. Further on, “minimal art” is “abstract art consisting primarily of simple geometric forms executed in an impersonal style”… and that’s pretty much it.
But what the happy few featured in this book know, is that creating simple things is, in fact, an arduous task. Achieving simplicity may feel like a chore, sometimes, because artists, especially these ones, have so much to say. Distilling the essence of a slice of space, allowing the light to utter just the just words, or trying to materialize the core of a trepid thought – these are all complexities in disguise.
who is minima?
Metaphorically speaking, the minimalist artist is an alchemist trying to pocket the essence of all things in just one gesture or representation. Some might say: “it’s just, like, one click!” The artist may reply: “It’s mounting an assault against a blackout, therefore protecting a hope…” Consequently, it’s all personal. Does that mean that the artists are crafting a new “simple geometry”? Does it mean that they’re just looting? Well, now, those are questions for you, the reader.
To me, it came to no surprise that I’ve felt so much joy in selecting the nine minimalist photographers I like the most. Even if most of them were on vacation, they did answered my call, and have been gracious enough to accept my invitation to join this artistic matrix. They deserve my personal thanks, beyond mere formality; they deserve more than the banal impersonality most photography albums intros are usually offering. They deserve much more then what that Merriam-Webster definition is proffering.
I know that they deserve more, because, in my quest to discover the minimal in photography, I’ve found some remarkable and unexpected places where simplicity has materialized a state of mind, a sensation, even a Weltanschauung (a worldview) – which is to say that I’ve discovered a lot more than the every-day commerciality of a projected image. I felt as if I was witnessing a cosmology in the making. I’ve been seduced by these time-stamping exposures of a fog-brimming haunted forest, of oneiric seashores, of rainbow-hungry waterscapes amplifying the sensation of a depth of field never to be fully conquered, of almost baroque winterscapes finessing the viewer into fairytales, of Pop art séances that are connecting individualities through vivacious colors, and, of course, of raw Zen pillars of light.
to whom it may concern…
Minima is a rather peculiar selection, I must admit. Some of its details may seem Michael Kennna or Michael Levin inspired. Some of its parts may seems beyond the taxonomy of minimalist photography, whatever that means… Some of its best may deserve an album of their own. Nevertheless, once they are put together, by the courtesy of each author, these photographs are crafting, I dare say, one unifying vision of infinity. It’s that simple.
by Alexandru Crisan