Created during a residency at Le Blanc, France, the black & white images that make up Israel Ariño’s Le Nome Qui Efface La Couleur resist easy interpretation. As loosely related images, they offer a sombre portrait of a sleepy French town. Romantic images of old cars, fallen fruit, and dilapidated farmhouses suggest a town forgotten or suspended, outside the grip of the modern world, or falling away. Although the work is a melancholic document of a place, it is also an exploration of photography’s ontological nature. Somewhat cryptically, Ariño speaks about the work as dealing with the ‘disappearance of things’. Throughout the book there is a sense of coming in and out of being– stuffed birds turn away, shelves are shrouded, tracks lead into a snow-covered field, and fruit lies on the ground, waiting to be picked up. While the work presents a world falling away, it also points to a deeper mystery of photography about what images preserve, what they change, and what slips away.
Review by Adam Bell