photographs and text by
Max de Esteban
Proposition One depicts obsolete technology products that were used for producing and communicating art.
The series of images share an x-ray analytical quality with a mortuary-like emotional stillness. As forensic testimonies of a past existence, vestiges of each inner structure can be clearly identified while others parts fade or have disappeared, as in decomposing organic bodies.
By eliminating the objects’ individual peculiarities, each photograph becomes a generic symbol of decay and death.
While these tools were considered to be sophisticated and state-of-the-art not long ago, today they evoke a sense of fragility, archaism and trauma.
In constructing this photo-installation my concerns are: the consequences of today’s accelerated embracing of new technologies and formats in art practice; the political implications of technical and functional obsolescence; and the conflicts involved in the concept of progress.
Rapid obsolescence in the working formats and techniques, together with hugely superior access to archival resources, is modifying the nature of artistic practice, accelerating its democratization and reinforcing its precarious nature.
Proposition One: Only the ephemeral.
— Max de Esteban 2011
Editor's note: We first met Max de Esteban, and discovered his work, at
Lens Culture FotoFest Paris 2010. We saw this new work at the portfolio reviews we organized in May 2011 at Fotografiska in Sweden as part of Stockholm Photography Week.