Luis Molina-Pantin


From the milieu of contemporary photography, Luis Molina-Pantin engages in an extreme exploration of the premises that, from the very beginning, inspired the disquieting images that identify him today. Photography as a means of expression is to the artist a strategy of detaching himself from the documentary argumentation associated to modern aesthetics in order to insert himself in the currents of new objectivity. The apparently cold and critical view of the surroundings with which he approaches the subject of study is what aesthetically defines his focus. Thus he parts with the photographic tradition in our country– the portrait, the landscape, the social discourse documentary and, more recently, photography submerged in post-modern aesthetics. His repertoire incorporates images generated by an objective reality of representation, in which human presence is suppressed to give place to desolate landscapes that exhibit generic and massive places which refer to inner spaces, objects, landscapes or architecture.

On the limits of documentary registry and idealized pictorialism, Molina-Pantin’s images outline the construction of an ambiguous-real discourse detached from any anecdotic expression. From the emblematic urban landscapes in Postales apocalípticas (Apocalyptic Postcards) (1996), the diverse social realities recreated in the scenarios of a television studio in Inmobilia (1997), the artificial parody of the domestic space in Apartamento de Osmel Sousa (Osmel Sousa’s Apartment) (2000), the reality of every-day objects in the series Nuevos paisajes (New Landscapes) (2000), the magazine covers with portraits of Venezuelan presidents of the XX century in Best-Sellers (2001-2004), the frigid aesthetic of St. Moritz (2006) to, more recently, the kitsch atmosphere of Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (2007); in all these series he comes through as an urban archaeologist or a passionate ethnographer. Through his work, he becomes a keen observer, he explores the cultural phenomena of certain contexts, collects images that he documents as a strategy of representation, deviated from any didactic intention.