Photographic series & exhibition

Photographs are traditionally looked at as if they are transparent. The idea is that one usually doesn’t look at the photographic surface, but rather through it to contemplate the scene an image presents in all its detail. This transparency of the medium serves many purposes, specifically, it enables the photographic image to function as the universal communicative language it is today.

Yet, a photograph cannot exist without a physical carrier. In Surfaces (2021-ongoing), Lithuanian artist-researcher Paulius Petraitis focuses on and examines the exterior side of photographs. Emphasising the materiality of the screen and print, images are here doubly distorted. Taking isolated moments and scenes from films as his source material, Petraitis re-photographs them adding multiple layers of analogue and digital intervention. Something – a hand gesture, a car’s headlights, rubber boots – gets cut out from its habitat of temporal continuity and is frozen into an image that is given new possibilities of meaning. Despite visible distortions, taken all together the images weave an imaginary narrative, one that is suggestive of a cosmic story.

Surfaces was presented in a solo exhibition at ISSP gallery in the framework of Riga Photography Biennial 2022. The installation featured an audio composition created specifically to accompany the series by Gailė Griciūtė & custom frames by Sam Margevicius and Pauls Rietums.

Graphic design: Jūratė Gačionytė
Catalogue essay: Alan Huck
Documentation photos: Madara Gritāne