Shortly after its invention, photography became a way of exploring the world. When returning from a trip, images were the small treasures that showed us the unknown. The collections of images replaced the cabinets of wonder because the world could then be trapped in a reduced space. The author pursues the old desire of modernity of exploring virgin landscapes that had not yet been colonized by the gaze. The idea of constructing a sort of iconic atlas of humanity appears, a photographic record of the phenomenon of human inhabitance on the planet.
Photography is our way of exploring the world
Today, in a globalized world marked by our continuous presence in social networks, visual production has different symptoms. For Eduardo Nave, Like is one of those symptoms. These images have been taken across half of the world for 14 years, and have been compiled in a photo book format. In them, it can be observed how in these moments we are more concerned about pointing out our being in the world than, as in the past, our showing of the world. This makes us wonder how the emotion of discovery is lived in the post-photographic era.
Like is divided into nine chapters. In the first chapters, there are places where the footprint of man is not visible. As one moves forward, his presence becomes evident, and finally, he floods everything and becomes the only protagonist. Although they lack a title, each chapter is presented by a small poetic text that speaks of the journey or the process of photographing. It is as if Like tried to recover in form and disposition that which is shown to be absent. In his images, there is a longing for the lost, as present as the designation of behaviours that are strange to us but, at the same time, so familiar to us.
Like works as a record of our time
Nave's proposal works as a record of our time. If there was a time when the attention of the image was in the presence and closeness to people, this has changed. In the book's narrative, the human figure does not emerge as an individual protagonist in the form of portraits, but instead it appears as a mass. The author pays attention to the crowds that arise in tourist places and their fixation on taking photographs rather than enjoying the moment. The landscape, the way we travel and the way we produce and share our photos on the Internet are the issues that Like revolves around.
This photo book provides a graphic reflection on the landscape and the way we represent it. If tourism at the beginning of this millennium has changed the physiognomy of places, social networks have modified the way we communicate. What matters today is the fact of photographing, the very action that places us and testifies to our presence. By sharing images in a massive way, the reading of these images becomes increasingly accelerated. The images are not intended to last but to be consumed. We can think that it is something terrifying, at the same time fascinating, because of how it has modified our way of understanding photographic language. We can also stop judging and reach out to try to understand the way in which photography itself changes.
With his photobook, Eduardo Nave places us on the edge that divides appearance from experience. He explores the evolution of travel photography in the last century and the influence that social networks have had on it. The act of photography and the act of sharing seem to overlap when photography is loaded with the immediacy of social networks. During these 14 years in his research process through landscape photography, Nave has shifted from discovering remote places to having difficulty showing those places without them being flooded by tourism. With its final chapters, the book warns us about the impossibility of isolation and at the same time, it encourages us to recover the desire to explore the world in order to find new landscapes in our travels.
Like, Eduardo Nave
288 pages - 35 €