TERRACES


In the 19th century, as the process behind taking pictures became common knowledge, photography began to substitute painting as a way to represent reality, since it was considered more authentic, and the cataloguing of people and places proliferated. Over the years, that particularly human aesthetic sense led to places not only being catalogued, but pre-selected. The need for available surfaces from which to contemplate a landscape that was pleasing to the eye led to the development of “natural theatres” for viewing purposes. These “viewpoints,” as they are called in the United States, were the first step; the next was creating something that would separate the stage (the show) from the audience (the spectator). As a physical boundary, a terrace, a parapet, or a protective barrier would serve the purpose.


The Terraces project sprang from the idea of revealing not so much the view to behold but the vantage points it requires. The actual viewing becomes an accessory, and the stage for the scene turns into the photographer’s main subject. The place which makes the perceptual experience possible in the first place becomes the reason for the photograph, its protagonist. This is analogous to the experience of the packaging that upstages its contents, or that of the museum that outshines the works it contains; in other words, in a twist, the means justify the ends.