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Text by Jorge Villacorta
Caja Ficción Text of the Process
Text by Roberto Huarcaya
Caja Ficción Tour

What is Caja Ficción?  by Chionmang

When I realized I needed to create a professional project which could become a memory of a professional photographic project, I decided to look for a topic I could feel comfortable with, basically because it was something I had to accomplish and because somehow it demanded a confrontation between myself and very intense, strong situations which I had to be accounted for as part of the process.

This is the resason why, in 1994, I decided to review the series of nude photography I had done while attending Instituto Gaudí.

These nude photographs were based on a game that involved an individual and a box in a studio. But I also looked up several nude photographs taken later in time, in which I was the individual, sort of self-portraits. However, the interaction with the object demanded very accurate conditions of pose and space.

The fact that drove me to choose that sequence of images as the foundation for my project was my intense curiosity about it, and furthermore, the need to know how far I could take or push this kind of images (self-portraits) made with the box.

I started questioning the relationship between box and body, body and space, and space and box through new images.

Starting from the idea that each one of the photographs that I consider part of the final project is (to me) a scenery on an unbuilt real stage, predetermined and specifically chosen (unless you consider the frame a structure-object) which is perfectly possible, and pertains to the visual environment with which the photographer works, I realize that each take is unique and unrepeatable.

The convergence between my memories and the present awareness of my relationship with them is built and defined in the frame. The pre-determination of the place, the movement and creation of the image are linked by a decision that responds to the need to capture an image in that location, as part of a tour to places in my mind, as I said before, looking for the experience of my senses, which have shaped my memory; and emotional atmospheres that emerge as I see my memories through the lens of my present life.

When I delve into finding the point in which box and space meet, I would say that to me  natural or urban landscapes do not play a role, that is, the landscape is not the goal of my photographs. They are scenes in which every place refers to a specific event in my conscience and in the observer's, or that each place represents a specific circumstance.

That is why the landscape looses its sense of landscape and I perceive it with other senses, and thus it becomes an extension of my memory, as I said before, an interpretation of memories that I wish to express through my photographs; those that I have perceived or which are based in states of time and space.

The existence of an object, that is to say, the box with a subject (me) inside it merges with the scene and becomes one single element (box-body). This could suggest that my photographic work is not really a photographic search but rather a mere collection of factual images, the recording of a performance or a kind of body art; there is another artistic action that motivates the creation of images, which will always refer to (and be subordinate to) another action, artistic and not photographic. Photography is simply the means to make that moment everlasting.

Starting from the fact that to me box and body are one single element, and that I use my body as part of that expression inside the box, I must assume that someone will find a similarity between this and the photographic quality of a performance or body art.

My concept of body art basically refers to the use of the body as a means to convey something. It is not only based on the fact that the body is part of what will be conveyed but also that it will be accompanied by different means which altogether will achieve a unique and unrepeatable situation. It is obviously a body narrative that is the foundation of a personal fiction or a succession of facts that validate the scene as a presentation of the body. To be catalogued as art the creation of this scene or body art should obey a set of predetermined ideas.

Thus, photography is used as a means to record the situation forever.

My project is different. I seek visual creation using the photographic means. My only purpose is to achieve an image. None of my artistic actions precedes the creation of an image in a specific location.

The motivation for the project is then to discover if there is a limit to the creation of these photographs as images with value in themselves and by themselves. It is also about discovering the sensation of confinement  in each picture and what it is related to. And it tries to see how these facts compenetrate with my references, with specific facts in my memory.

Chionmang, 1998.