I have always been suspicious about photography’s presumed straight connection with reality. I prefer to believe there are many ways to perceive reality. We are convinced that we perceive reality with our senses but actually it is our brain who deciphers what is in front of us and our eyes can be many times tricked by our brains. The brain constructs reality using our senses and can change memories and recollections over time depending on what we read, what we watch, what we experience and even what music we hear. Cameras are the tools to choose the frame and the way to represent the piece of reality we focus on but the brain is directing the ideas, emotions and thoughts.   

Some years ago with these thoughts in mind I approached landscape with a Russian made panoramic camera. This camera that I chose to use was not technically able to make realistic images due to the moving lens, the bad distortions produced by the optic as well as the awkward construction. Dismissing then the aim to capture reality I decided to push in just the opposite direction, focusing on these main camera faults. By doing so I discovered that while shooting and moving the camera lens in various ways I could add a new layer to the landscapes. Depending on the film used, light exposures, the grain and the shake of the camera I transformed the images. Undulations, cracked lines, confusing textures, ghost like shapes and technical accidents became intentionally part of my images. Impossible landscapes were channeled through the camera lens.

Reality is not as stable as we wish it to be, not as real as we want it to be. My camera is a great reminder of that feeble line between reality and fiction, abstraction and representation. My camera is a tool that warps reality and I am often surprised with the strange resulting landscapes.

New work was recently created in Melbourne, Broome and Perth thanks to the support of Department of Local Government, Sports and Cultural Industries.

Carolina Furque