On the third edition of the BIM

Images to disbelieve images

We believe in technical images, even today, when we are witnesses to the way synthetic images, especially digital simulations, have developed. When faced with a photograph or a video, and also with television and film, we see the world, not the image. We still look on in fascination. It amazes us that it is still valid. This can be seen in everyday life: if the photograph in my passport is damaged, I can’t cross any borders. A technical image of myself is of more value to me than myself.

We are naïve when faced with technical images, and doubly so. If we believe them it is because we understand that they carry with them the truth of a world of which they are a document, as if the Truth existed. So we believe that there is one Truth, not variable, dynamic versions of the world. Perhaps it is because of this that we find it hard to understand an image as an image, because we cannot understand that there is no Truth to refer to. This becomes particularly dangerous when we live, increasingly, surrounded by screens. They educate us, they form our structure of values and, in chorus, they display a version of the world that imposes itself as truth. As video became more popular in the 1960s, it entered the underground scene with a hopeful discourse of diversity. Paradoxically, we are in an even worse place today; that previously unimaginable instrument, that potential tool of liberation that is the internet, is used by girls to share their makeup tutorials and gratuitously expand a culture that objectifies them. This is coherent with the social system in which we live, a model that denies its ideology and presents it as a natural truth. Thus we accept the injustice it is based on and which the vast majority of humans are prey to.

Art is not capable of transforming this reality, it cannot change the world, that is what politics should be for. Art simple forms new relations between things and, in the best of scenarios, as a result of this it might produce in someone a previously unlikely reflection. It sounds scarce, but in reality it is no small thing. That’s why at the BIM we unfurl a multitude of thinking images, screens that vibrate full of ideas. They are images that know they are images and which invite the spectator to see them as such, that show that there is no truth to refer to. The dialogue that is struck up between them could take infinite directions and, if it is authentic, produce the seed of a new knowledge. Let’s hope this growth helps us to be less naïve and more free.

Gabriela Golder y Andrés Denegri