Like is a symptom, a disruption in the ecosystem of visual production. It reveals the existence of a deranged approach to pictorial representation in which more importance is attached to showing our place in the world than to showing the world itself. In a society imbued with the capitalism – the excess, total accessibility and asphyxia - of post-photographic era images, the question arises whether it is any longer possible to experience the excitement of discovery.
Faced with such an overload of multiple stimuli and reactions, photographer Eduardo Nave pursues the old modernist dream of exploring a virgin landscape that has never been colonized by human eyes. Are there no longer any places to escape to? Is contemplative solitude possible? Emptiness is a motivating force that lives on in the imagination and drives the photographer to embark on each new voyage, even when that voyage is a lunatic, fictitious or totally impossible undertaking.
The correlation between solitude and wonder was already inspiring aesthetic awareness and sensitivity even back in the Romantic period, when it showed how the human capacity for fascination becomes much more acute in situations of melancholy: the vastness of the open sea, the infinity of the sky, the enormity of the desert and the breath-taking peaks of snow-topped mountains. Wonder is aroused when the mood is expansive and radiant. Hence the realisation that the camera is a romantic artefact which requires seclusion and novelty, a catalyst of emotional effects and spaces that needs to establish contact with external phenomena.
It should also be remembered that photographic techniques have undergone considerable changes over time. For centuries, physical contact between subject and camera lens aroused great enthusiasm for getting as near as possible to whatever was being photographed. But the process known as the second digital revolution, characterised by the use of mobile phones and the "selfie" craze, has accentuated the physical and symbolic distance which exists between the eye and the viewfinder and, above all, has led to a loss of immediacy with regard to visual narrative and the inevitable dispersion of the captured phenomenon. Nave stands on the borderline separating appearance from experience, the gesture of exhibiting "what I am" from the documentation of "what has been". He warns us about the impossibility of isolation but at the same time encourages us to rekindle a desire to explore the world.
Like is a printed image of our age, of this global village in which we live and where the human figure melts into the background like some kind of diluted being: a sign floating on the surface with no order, coherence or identity. And that explains Nave’s determination to move to some new, uninhabited land, perhaps further away than ever and perhaps even outside this reality.
Mireia A. Puigventós