S(h)elf Portrait

Leandro Katz

Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1938
  • Date: 
  • Technique: 
    Gelatin silver print on paper mounted on cardboard
  • Descriptive technique: 
    Polyptych consisting of fifty photographs
  • Dimensions: 
    Full bleed image: 25,3 x 20,3 cm / Card stock: 26,6 x 21,5 cm
  • Category: 
  • Entry date: 
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Multiple artwork

This artwork belongs to a series.

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Leandro Katz is a visual artist, writer and filmmaker, whose main interests centre on visual culture theory and historical and anthropological research in the Latin American context.
The fifty photographs that make up S(h)elf Portrait are a sequential record of how a small studio looks over a certain period of time. In every shot, some change in the interior can be seen. As the sequence progresses, the first photographs are incorporated into the scene, on the wall, creating a Baroque metalinguistic game of image within image. The title, too, is a play on the words “self” and “shelf”. Katz is dealing with a subject that was to recur throughout his work: the way that places and inanimate objects record the traces left by living beings as they pass. So this portrait of a period of time serves as a sketch for a self-portrait; however, as the camera gets closer, and tries to get into the essence of the scene, what it manages to show begins to become blurred. The way the pictures progress towards a lack of sharpness is an allusion to subjective interpretation of reality, while at the same time showing the limitations of representation through a technical medium such as photography.

Concha Calvo Salanova