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Art is an expression of its time. Social, economic and political circumstances are reflected and documented by artists since ancient times. Although health crises are not an everyday issue, they are also part of human history. And once again, art is not an outsider.

Amid all what is involved in it, the current crisis has featured a cultural explosion. Different artistic and academic manifestations have invaded our screens generating an unprecedented milestone, that without a doubt is built in the midst of a deep solitude. The Peruvian photographer Morfi Jiménez is not an exception. Like many, he is spending the quarantine time lonely. Time that has confronted us with a limbo, a moment in which time stopped and in which fear, melancholy and uncertainty appear. And it is in this context that his most recent project is born: The (un) Real.

Given the impossibility of going out to photograph, in The (un)Real, Jiménez rethinks his work processes. In this way he looks for archival images, and asks his friends and parents to self-portrait themselves, turning these digital images into 35mm negative films, and projecting them onto a canvas installed on the terrace of his apartment, thus emulating a movie theater, but framed in a night skyline of the city of Lima.

The exercise proposed by Morfi, showcases an inversion of expressive codes and narrative roles. The images projected as a film are a representation of reality, while the contrasting landscape is a suspended, contained and uninhabited city. The city is now a fiction, an unreachable space of which we cannot temporarily be a part. However, the fact of not photographing does not imply a distancing from the photographic gesture. The (un)Real is placed in that ambiguous game of perceptions, where the blurred limit between what is real and what is not, stands out as one of the most natural qualities of the photographic medium. Finally, photography gives us that infinite possibility of imagining and re-imagining our “reality”, today more necessary than ever.

Carlos Caamaño

© Morfi Jiménez 2020. All Rights Reserved

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