Anne Roig (Barcelona, 1988) is the latest artist to feature in the exhibition series Artist from the Collection. The young photographer offers the juxtaposition of geometric architecture with organic humanity.
A specialist in fashion photography and influenced by her studies in graphic design, she centres on the aesthetic of the image in all its details. Here she presents balanced, mainly triangular, compositions where the weight of the photograph is centred on a contorted human figure.
Via nudity and the anonymity of the subject, Roig appears to speak of identity through poetics, citing concepts such as liberty, identity, repression and the transformation of the body in order to attain total freedom.
The artist offers us a series of intimate photographs where she uses her own body to talk about concepts such as freedom, identity, repression and transformation of the body in order to attain complete freedom. As she states, “over the course of our lives we strive to reach an invisible freedom.” It would seem that this freedom is to be found in the transformation of the actual image that we have of ourselves. Bodies writhe in neutral, architectural spaces, in constant struggle, suspended in time. In an age of social over-exposure, where one’s identity is increasingly difficult to pin down, Anne reveals an obvious conflict stemming from the need to identify ourselves as unique individuals.
[Photography] is mainly a social rite, a defence against anxiety, says Susan Sontag. This is especially true when we consider the boom in digital platforms focused on sharing images and the constant need of human beings to verify their existence via the publication of photographs. Since it appears that where there are no photographs, an experience has never happened, we can assume that this anxiety arises from the need to verify existence itself. This is where humankind’s vulnerability lies; in our fear of non-existence, of the fragility that envelopes life and experience. Photography is an act of memorialisation, not only for our own use but in the eyes of others. We confirm our own identity via the eyes and approval of society. But Anne Roig claims that we are taught this sense of vulnerability. We are both social beings and separate individuals, and at the heart of our thought is the battle between our freedom and its repression and for our own existence.
We view Anne Roig’s battle in her photographs from a distance and in silence; her need to capture an exact and unique moment. Photography came about as a method for demonstrating that something had been witnessed by someone. We find ourselves observing what the artist wants to show, “those silent moments to which no one pays attention.”
What is exciting “are photographs which say something in a new manner”, writes Harry Callahan, “not for the sake of being different, but because the individual is different and the individual expresses himself.”