Palindromes of the image: the photography of Ernesto Ríos. (Fragment)

By José Manuel Springer

The photography of Ernesto Ríos can be considered to represent a break with conventional photography; it is more a process of pictorial representation. The old idea that the camera registered what the lens saw is improved upon in the work of this mexican photographer. The change in strategy has to do with the grammar of the images, how they are articulated to give place to semantics, or rather a new meaning which comes from reading the image in two ways, as a reference and as an object. To work out what this means we must take a look at what has happened to art since the invention of photography. To begin with, the images captured by photography are an imitation of reality. They depend on the existence of a being or an object to which reference is made on the basis of similarity. Photography in the 19th century was just that, a mechanical reproduction of reality.

Today, photographers like Ernesto Ríos, go back to the paradigms of photography so as to transform once again the nature of the medium. The superimposition of images that Ríos uses reminds us of surrealism, but the difference lies in the fact that his images are strictly taken from reality, and with the use of digital technology he is able to alter the perception of the real. His images are, therefore, a visual space in which the human mind is reproduced; they reflect something very similar to what goes on in our minds when we combine forms and meaningsIn this sense, Ríos is right when he points out that in his work there is no specific objective; rather he tries to situate the world in an ambiguous space of representation, where two or more images are mixed, combining their expressive properties.