The Carved Photographs Of Michel Lamoller Reveal What Lies Beneath

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In his series “tautochronos”, German artist Michel Lamoller takes multiple photographs of the same place at different times, then prints and layers them, physically carving them into one image, sculpting two-dimensional space into three-dimensions. By then photographing the transformed image Lamoller returns the work to two-dimensions, playing with space and volume, echoing the compression of time and place in his work. The deconstructed figures in the resulting photographs are a visual reminder that people are always changing and never fully revealed.

People often speak of ghosts, and that’s what these photographs bring to mind—the pieces left behind when time passes and things change. It’s almost archeological, the parts covered, the parts revealed. The remains remain, an artifact of time passed.

The photos that are mainly figural express the changes in an individual over time. Clothed, naked. Smiling, serious. Button-down, t-shirt. They are a literal portrait of days.

The images that integrate a figure into the environment are more evocative. In one image, a woman seems to be decomposing, dissolving into grass and trees. Another figure blends into a brick building, almost indecipherable. One person’s body seems to be fossilizing as cobblestones stretch up his legs like moss. A book-lined wall is interrupted by fragmented pieces of a man’s face. Are the pieces so small because the impact of the person in the space was so inconsequential?

The word tautochronos is made of two Greek parts: tauto from the combining form meaning same, chronos meaning time. In combining different moments in the same place Lamoller has stopped time.

 

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