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How to think in color ? The conceptual photography of David Biro

Photography has been many things throughout its history, however it has often done so without full knowledge about itself or without consensus about its meanings. What is clear is that nowadays the photographic image has become a new different thing. Dávid Biró, at the age of 26, already understands this, and in his work he addresses some profound matters whose grounds lay on radically contemporary notions of language and aesthetics. The study of color has been a constant in Biró’s proposals. Yet, it isn’t only a matter of aesthetics, but also because in his work this young artist is concerned about the construction of our vision of the world. We can read his images as considerations that look for the blind spots in the relationship between the reality and our senses.

indistinct david biro

Indistinct, 2015. © David Biro

From Budapest (Hungary), where he resides after graduating with a BA in Photography at the University of Kaposvár and a MA in Photography at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design (MOME), Dávid Biró shows an obvious interest on the influence that technical resources produce in the human perception. From his first series he has been concerned about the impact of a presence in a foreign environment and how this one becomes altered by such presence. For example, in Proxemics he takes on a personal situation in which sharing a room becomes the object of a lack of personal and protected space from external influences. At Indistinct, however, he introduces color as a concept. He understands color as a code and asks himself how this code is inserted in a space such as the one that belongs to black and white photography. This series, based on a color vision test, focuses on objects that without color would partially or fully lose their function. The evolution of his work is constant and at In Situ, once again, he cares for the function of objects, which in this case is given by the users. With this work he travels from the problematic of looking to identity issues, and how to determine the place of each person in society. He asks himself for the effect of external factors and the feedback that helps to define and to deform the self.

in situ david biro

In situ, 2016. © David Biro

This is the aesthetics and conceptual workload that drives Dávid Biró into his series Axiom. In this sequence Biró studies the way we look at images in a moment where digitalization and VR and 3D technologies are transforming the role and the function of photography. Once again, he returns to a situation where the impact of an object changes the perception we have about another object. The title, Axiom, alludes to a series of principles that have no need for proof, and about which many of our certainties revolve. In the images he uses a ColorChecker chart, a photographic calibration tool, that works both as a reference object to comprehend the process of calibration, and an axiom to define reality. A point of reference for an environment that is full of misinformation coming from the Internet or the media. Biró talks about finding a filter that could tell apart the usable knowledge. The author’s starting point is the idea that the photographic medium is not only a visual representation of reality, but also the extension of the human vision itself. Hence the importance of the color chart as a reference, as well as the obsession of Biró for finding reference points in the real world that could be used to define what we consider to be true.

axiom david biro

Axiom, 2017. © David Biro

Questions on how we look have played a very important role, both in photography and in cinema, establishing an almost indivisible relationship between the eye and the camera. It is understood that the acts of seeing and photographing have joined and come together as one. Though this question was addressed at the beginning of the century with the avant-garde movements or, in the seventies and eighties, with the artists’ questioning about the construction of the looking process. The work of young authors, such as Biró, proves that this process of exploration and questioning has been assimilated in contemporary discourses and, furthermore, it is now taking a turn to which we should pay close attention. If we focus on Dávid Biró we can see how his precise compositions tend to recall the aesthetics of the digital world in which he has grown up together with his generation. Through his different series the artist emphasizes this issue while he questions the future, and the photographic medium’s identity in a society that is driven by computers.

axiom david biro

Axiom, 2017. © David Biro

axiom david biro

Axiom, 2017. © David Biro

axiom david biro

Axiom, 2017. © David Biro

20 Dec 2018 by David Villaba diaz

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