Camera Obscura 2005/1-Inf, memetic photographic virus


The potentially infinite work Camera Obscura 2005/1-Inf by Przemek Zajfert & Burkhard Walther is based on the sharing of a Pinhole Camera, equipped with a double stenopeic hole, and able to get on a black and white negative two parallel exposures,slightly juxtaposed. The camera, built with cardboard and aluminum, is on sale on Ebay every week. The first buyer commits himself to send the camera to the second buyer of the same Pinhole Camera, after having made the first exposure. Then the second buyer makes the second exposure, sending in the end the camera back to the Merid gallery in Stuttgart. The gallery periodically exhibits this double-photographs series, and the printing of the first pictures catalogue has been scheduled for spring 2006. The project is dedicated to the sole and unfinished work ‘Opalka 1965/1-∞’ by the polish artist Roman Opalka. It was made up of single paintings of the same size, named ‘Details’, spread all over the world. They made up the concrete part of the abstract concept behind its work: a pictorial translation of the ascending order from 1 to infinite, that ends with the artist’s death. In Camera Obscura 2005/1-Inf we can see a photographic mosaic taking shape during time, based on parallel exposures. Their authors, scattered all over the world, get in touch through the generated pictures, that are replicated and diffused as memes, micro-unities of intellectual/visual evolution. They can be seen as a active part of an infectious photographic language, a cultural virus that according to the theories of Francesca Woodman proves that “the theory behind the work is important, but it’s always secondary to the eye’s satisfaction.”

Eleonora Calvelli