Umbra Pictura

Self-Love Among the Ruins, Любовь среди руин, Umbra pictura
UMBRA PICTURA, 2018. Photobooth

Umbra Pictura – the antonym of lux pictura (‘light painting’ or ‘photography’ in Latin) – is a work in praise of shadows. Shadows as the antonym of light represent the basic component of painting. Shadows were a source of fascination for the ancients. According to Pliny the Elder, painting originated in ‘dark painting’. The daughter of the ancient Greek potter Butades, considered one of the first ancient Greek sculptors, on learning that her beloved was leaving Corinth on a military expedition, decided to draw the outline of his shadow, cast by a lamp, on the wall of her house so that his image would always be with her. According to Plato, we can only make judgments on the real world of ideas from the indistinct shadows on the walls of a cave in which our senses are imprisoned. The photobooth dissected by Paperno (the flash is located behind the individual, who ends up with a silhouette instead of a selfie) is an excursion into the laboratory of images, an ironic comment on the disputed role of light and darkness underlying the notion of painting.

Exhibition “Self-Love among the Ruins” at Schusev State Museum of Architecture, Moscow
Curated by Ekaterina Inozemtseva
November 13–December 13, 2018
Exhibition views by Anastasia Soboleva