looking into the tunnel from the light

6 frames. about context

In photography, the frame becomes a nuanced note within the visual composition, and its influence is magnified within the appropriate context. This reality becomes evident upon reflection on the "Kuleshov Effect," a cinematic experiment originating in the 1910s. Lev Kuleshov assembled the same frame of an actor's face between different sequences, revealing how audiences attributed diverse emotions to the face depending on the surrounding context. The "Kuleshov Effect" underscores the powerful impact of context on visual interpretation.

Within the exploration of the photographic medium, opting for film over digital photography becomes a deliberate decision in the "6 Frames about Context" project. By choosing film, we relinquish the immediacy of results, introducing an element of anticipation and conceptual significance to the artistic process.

The numbering of frames aligns with the control markings on the edges of the medium-format film, establishing a connection between structure and the tangible materiality of the medium. The action of framing, maintaining the photographic perspective, can be likened to a "happening", addressing the embedded temporality in the film development process.

Choosing an empty billboard as the subject creates an analogy with the photographic frame itself. The billboard is devoid of purpose. The serial arrangement of photographic frames reconstructs the context in which the empty billboard exists without leaving traces. In this narrative, context becomes the sole explanatory factor for the absence of substance.

The six images find visual support in two additional compositions, captured on 35mm film, following a similar serial style. These compositions either overlap to form the billboard frame or juxtapose to create a multi-perspectival image, reminiscent of a Cubist approach. Through this visual language, "6 Frames about Context" invites the audience to analyze the intricate interplay between substance, context, and the photographic medium.

Teodor Bădărău, 2019