Monday 22 March 2010

Riego van Wersch

All images © Riego van Wersch

By way of introduction to this work, Riego van Wersch quotes Octavio Paz: "Solitude is the profoundest fact of the human condition."

There is neither peculiar subjects nor eccentricity, neither tricks nor devices in the photographs of Riego van Wersch. Instead what we have are urban vistas, countryside landscapes, beaches, photographed both at night and day and across all continents. Human beings are not so much erased elements in the photographs but dissolve in the setting. Nonetheless, they are precious and essential to the instinctive reasoning of the author.

Time is not immobile and the subjects do not seem fixed. We will not be surprised to see them prolong their action. On the contrary, time passes by slowly, life passes by in front of our eyes. Riego van Wersch points his finger towards these beings, benumbed by their everyday life and resigned to their condition.

This is it indeed, a poignant stack of evidence that makes us unsteady in front of these images: The inevitable solitude of man.

With the same urge, where poetry meets cynicism, served by an extremely controlled graphic design, the tough acuity of his gaze shows us what he perceives best of our human condition. These photographs are not intellectual. They rather represent feelings.

Riego van Wersch, 37 years old, lives in Paris. He got into photography somewhat precociously at the age of 11, again in a self-taught way. Amnesty International exhibited his work at the age of 17 at Auvers sur Oise, France. A graduate of the Gobelins, photography course, at 24, he has since become and important figure as the Director of Photography on countless international advertising campaigns.