I first stumbled upon Roxana Azar’s work years ago via her tumblr blog and have followed her artistic development ever since. She has always been engaged with contemporary image production methods and their constant re-evaluation. For me, her ongoing series 'Cluster / Eclipse' enables new readings of and methods for landscape and nature image production and photography.
Despite its partially strong digital alterations and almost painterly interventions, the work retains its indexical references, its link towards the plants and landscapes originally depicted. Although the applied transformations point towards a human author, at first glance I immediately thought of a post-human way of understanding environment, of a possible method of seeing for a machine, might it be the factual camera or any artificial intelligence that tries to render and perceive our world, as the images are pulled away so far from what we are used to understanding as conventional imagery of nature.
What I love about 'Cluster / Eclipse' is that, despite the images appearing to be so approachable and simply beautiful due to the illustrated plants, bold colours and the simple gestures, there are several layers that lead deeper and deeper into the image’s productional origins, questioning, reforming and bending how we construct photographic imagery today.
'Cluster / Eclipse' guides me over a long and twisted road from simple 'Woah! That’s beautiful!'moments to a deep conversation about how we look, and how our looks are controlled and constructed.