Transito, by Andrés Medina, a visual poem.Posted: November 14, 2013
Transito is a very simple but efficient book, it drives you from a place to another and just lets you experiment the feeling of looking around and being surrounded by the ambiance. The book is a visual poem and it is up to you to dive in it, or to stay outside as a spectator.
Andrés does not portrait a specific place. You can recognize some areas (if you’re familiar with, of course) but it is not the purpose. The aim of the book is about representation. Many of you, as photographers may know the frustration of a single view. Sometimes, the less it says, the better it is. So we can consider the photo journey of Andrés, as an initiation trip, just to explore our ability to memorize some details or a challenge to find clues to drive you to the following stage. It is a kind of loop, at the end of the book you can start again from the beginning, and you may even discover some new paths.
Technically, Andrés uses various devices which emphasize the structure of the memory (afterimage, subliminal symbolism…). On a first look, the book could be considered a bit messy, mixing small Black & White photos with color full framed pictures, or using color and Black & White images superimposed. Well, the sequencing could surprise and it forces the reader to take time to slowly enter in the story (in fact he must give up with conventionnal reading and not look for a so called story). A road printed on a polyester insert drives you to infinite which becomes suddenly an appearance of a « ghost tree », a small tent arises in the middle of a bush like if a voyeur removes the branches. The cleverness in this book is that it questions the way you read a photograph, and it really works because you can spend a long time exploring every small part of a pictures, looking for the so called Roland Barthes’ punctum.
In fact, at the end of the book, you know less about the place evocated, than about yourself. This is a kind of personal introspection, as the title says « a transit » or to better say a state of mind in between !
The photographs shown in Transito are excerpted from a beautiful series named « Rio » focussing on the surroundings of a river near Madrid (here below). I hope that the complete series is a book to come !
Well, as a conclusion, I should say : forget everything written above and have a look by yourself. The third edition is limited to 75 copies (first and second editions, respectively of 10 and 15 copies, are sold out).
More info on Andrés Medina site : http://www.andresmedina.com/books-zines/