Camera Obscura.  Photographs by Abelardo Morell. Introduction by Luc Sante.
Camera Obscura.  booktease preview.

Camera Obscura.

Photographs by Abelardo Morell. Introduction by Luc Sante.
Bulfinch, New York, 2004. 112 pp., 60 duotone photographs, 12x11".

Using the primitive technique of camera obscura, Morell converts ordinary rooms around the world into projection cameras, photographing the results with his view camera. He blacks out the windows, leaving only a tiny hole, which projects the outside view upside down into the darkened interior, transforming both the room and the view. Many are famous vistas seen in a novel way, like the Eiffel Tower, which covers a rented room at the Hotel Frantour. Others are more personal, taken in his son's bedroom with the neighbor's yard spilling over toys left about. Morell masterfully juxtaposes the interior and exterior elements with intelligence and gentle wit. The Grand Teton landscape, for example, enters a hotel room and creates a shadow over a framed poster of a bison. Without wearing out the concept, Morell places the seemingly timeless monuments and limitless landscapes against the transient and confined domestic spaces, engaging in the dialogue of nature vs. culture from a brand new perspective. In doing so, he mimics what it feels like to be inside the camera and investigates the very process of art making he undertakes. So much of a room depends upon its view, and what a joy it is to see what happens when we invite the outside in. Morell does just this with a sense of wonderment that permeates the entire body of work.

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