jose Ramón Ais – Bilbao, 1971
These photographic images by José Ramón Ais show artful plant landscapes that precisely show the artificial construction from which they emerge. This composition work makes reference to painting and the origins of photography, to the ikebana, to kitsch landscape calendars and to the employed imaging technologies themselves, including movie special effects. Thanks to the Chroma key the blue sky becomes the scenery for a stage populated by all kind of plants: ruderal, adventitious, invasive, productive and wild species acting according to their “naturalness” but subjected, as in a plan designed by a gardener, to the logic of the fiction they depict more than to the scientific rigor of the natural laws.
The last photograph suggests a thorough process which combines the image capture of laboriously selected and perfectly combined elements (grass, clouds, bugs…) and the discovery of their smells, shapes, names and properties. The colours, shadows and shapes are carefully treated by the author who, throughout his project, rereads the history and the aesthetic evolution of the landscape and imagines the science-fiction scenes announced by the biotechnology.
(Text by Garikoitz Fraga. Translated by Iratxe Bilbao)