Time and the unreal in the work of David Infante

“In this series, I dissolve images and fragments of time,” says French photographer David Infante. The monochrome ‘portraits’ that make up Mirror without a memory certainly feel as if they are unfixed, spanning time as they shift and melt under a fragmented surface. Triggered by a period of solitude in London, he resurrected images from his archive, reprocessing his memories by selecting photographs, cutting them up and combining snippets to give them new forms.
For Infante, slowing down time or wrestling many layers of it into one frame takes us into what he calls “parallel worlds”: a space to reflect and search for new meanings beyond the surface of the everyday. The photographer, who has just completed an MA at the Royal College of Art in London and is based in southern Portugal, ascribes his meditative approach to his early experience with analogue photography. “It brought me concentration and contemplation,” he explains.
His brooding projects act as counterpoints to the frenetic pace at which images are made, consumed and disposed of today. Disturbing our understanding of the photographic moment by stretching it across time, we are invited to look closer. “I don’t know if it’s a frustration with photography,” he explains. “It’s a medium that requires a lot of discipline and sometimes that pisses me off. So I like to break this discipline in the process of building my images.”
Shooting mainly in black-and-white – he believes that, as his work deals in imagination, it is better suited to convey “the unreal” – the results of his labours lean towards the surreal; unidentifiable blurred bodies and fragmented faces people the landscape in his images.
Uncanny and poetic, Mirror without a memory continues Infante’s study of time and the transformative power of photographs. Loosely influenced by Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, Infante’s photographs register the markings and decay of time while the essence of the original photographic moment remains intact.
davidinfante.net This article was originally published in the October issue of BJP, available via www.thebjpshop.com
From the series Mirror without a memory © David Infante
From the series Mirror without a memory © David Infante