There is no doubt that photography has reached the level of expression and aesthetics that today stands as another of the forms of artistic expression in the arts. It is not easy to achieve this condition when you are subject to a machine, and the means to reach art, through this mechanical exposition, is not easy to attain. It’s not the hand that conveys the perception of time, the contact with the subject, and less if it is a human figure – the environment, the light, the moment of firing, finding that second makes possible the perception of that moment – a whole number of conditions that require perceptual qualities that are not common, and in a way, or you have it or it is very difficult to acquire. As in all art, you either reach or you don’t the height that is necessary to make a work, in this case a photograph, into a true work of art.
In the case of Michael Dunev we find that which is most unusual: a photographer artist. He has that essential sense of space and time, that dramatic intution that announces (or denounces, and in this case it acquires an incalculable artistic value), something which permits him to perceive where the movement is, retaining at the same time the potential drama of the situation portrayed, not only with individuals, but also in things, the story they tell, the beauty they contain, what they carry or what can become of them. I believe that there is no great photograph if we can not transcribe in it a story that moves us, one that weaves an event, allows us to feel the pain or joy of a situation that has occurred or may yet occur. Photography requires a condition of human perception which is what makes it another (and not the least important) of the visual arts. Without this condition, we will see only “pictures,” poor memories of a boring holiday that maybe we’ll keep forgotten.
When Dunev showed me a collection of his photographs, I almost immediately asked permission to perform a musical vision on them. The work would be titled “Images for an Exhibition” and I naturally thought it would be a fitting tribute to Mussorgsky, since as in his extraordinary “Pictures”, each photograph will be accompanied by a Gaze, which would correspond to what he titled the Promenade. Both in the choice of titles as in the arrangement of the works, I must acknowledge the help of my partner Dolça, to whose common sense and keen sense of theater and literature I owe so much. Always an invaluable assistance, we chose the works that impressed me most at the time and I started working, numbering every Gaze and titling each piece, working with the idea that each Gaze would be a variation of the first, thus helping unite the whole.
I can only thank Miguel Dunev his generosity for allowing me to “sneak” into his work, and Santiago Barro, for his very important, generous and successful way in interpreting and understanding the work.
Torroella de Montgrí, March 31, 2012