Fabricated Truths

Artist’s Statement

What if photographs do lie? Even photographs in which the content is conspicuously manipulated can still have something meaningful to say. Every one of these photographs was staged. Every one targets a different idea. The baldness with which each composition is arranged makes it possible to move beyond the limitations of fact and reconsider what we already know from a different perspective.

Each of these photographs includes a naked woman. Traditional Art Nudes soften the viewer’s gaze with a poetic environment or distancing, visual patina. I prefer to lace up voyeurism like a bow tie.

My photographs are made in a ‘scientific’ setting. The objective observer is supposed to look closely. With these photographs, viewers willingly stare. Upon detecting a visual narrative, their minds set off on an interpretive errand. They engage in a series of measured calculations and draw social inferences to explain what they are seeing. There is something meaningful to be found.

Through this exercise I give viewers permission to be voyeurs. I hope they find it pleasurable.

Quietly, I am also pilfering something many men bring to these pictures. When they are so intently engaged in an abstract idea, few notice the absence of a prurient reward to their expectations.

Even when photographs lie, they can still comment truthfully.

Ricardo Barros
 April, 2010
 
(For a related article, see “Nudes, Truths and Stories” )