Friday, 8 June 2007

Zbigniew Libera

There has been 500 copies of postcards produced of Zbigniew Libera's photograph titled Che, 2002. The postcards are for take away. The small scale mass production of a new reality of Che is in collision with Che Guevara as an icon which has been massively produced in various mediums; t-shirts, pins, jackets, cigarettes...
Courtesy of Atlas Szuki

Zbigniew Libera- is in the pursuit of the "facts," rather than fetishizing empirical data by suggesting that they might be relied upon to provide the interpretations that are actually forced on them by particular consequences. In substituting an interpretive agenda for the allegedly neutral dedication to description, Libera juxtaposes a simulation through restaging historical events.
Zbigniew Libera’s encounter with the past may constitute a retreat from the cultural values of the present, one that valorizes the qualities that distinguish the culture of another moment in time. The images are identified with a mentor, so the audience of Libera’s reconstructed images may identify with a historical period, in which case the interpretive construct that arises from this encounter of the present and the past may well be marked by transference. The values of another horizon may be adopted, and used in the construction of a historical narrative. While the audience will inevitably project into the past, the values of the contemporary world, as well as those of the selected historiographic paradigms, a historical interpretation may in turn be unconsciously shaped by the values of another horizon that have been incorporated into the construction of the past in the present. This intention can be evaluated as a way to posit a direct connection between the images selected from history and the re-established relational aesthetics. In this scenario, the introduction of the personal serves to ground the narrative in the artist’s intention, in such a way as to make the intimate bond between subjectivity and memory serve as an unassailable foundation for the images being presented. On this view, the re-made image of Che Guevara as a strong anecdote from history is dominant, thus instructing the original through undermining the authority of the original. The viewer is being defamiliarized through an interpretative desertification process. Libera, constructing his images through veining of effect, points out the multitude of reality. The reality that have shaped our subjectivities, not necessarily accessible to that subjectivity as such, it is inevitable that the character of the individual narration, the production of Libera is full of implications for the historical moment in which it is composed, can be fully recognized but not evaluated in the one-to-one correspondence.

Assuming, then, that identity is an "ongoing process of differentiation," what conclusions can we draw from the work of Libera? How do we conceive of the discursive practices of which the history is an "effect," and what is the nature of the "agency" they posses in the production of an historical interpretation?
First, how rationally are disciplinary paradigms of knowledge production transmitted and received? To what extent is the production enabling references? Libera's series titled Positives, are establishing a composed language of visual culture through the images produced. The photography work by Libera extends the notion of how reality is placed and modified. Secondly, the call for the construction of a unique subjectivity, the cult of the exceptional individual, is, of course, also the heritage of a culture deeply invested in the ideology. And third, Libera is simply duplicating or creatively extending and manipulating an established disciplinary paradigm. Paradoxical as it appears in a positivist tradition that insists that the historian's task is to afford the public access to the truth a process that might be undertaken, presumably, by anyone.

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