It takes a while for our eyes to adjust to light 13 February 2022 - 19 February 2022
The world is read in different ways.
There is no longer an agreement about reality, about the perception of our
surroundings. All these realities clash, cohabit and exist in the same space.
This motivates my work.
My upbringing in a country with so
many cultural and political connotations strengthened my awareness of the world
and its mixed realities. Growing up in Colombia and being half Polish, I consider
myself a migrant, from migrant parents. Colombia itself is a country of
movement and multiple migrations. The notable differences in culture from Latin
America to Europe, made me realize the possibilities of diversity. Instead of
being disjunctive, there is nourishment
between one another. It is a dance between ambiguities, contradictions and
reciprocities. Movements and frictions, giving way to light. Diversity creates
possibilities. It is both conflictive and harmonic. Diversity is the emergence
of novelty, it is hybrid. Fissures allow creation, and creation comes from
hybrid juxtapositions resulting from friction. As a result,
the thematic of migration became one of the pillars of my work.
Walking, wandering, contemplating and inhabiting urban spaces
means thinking about the idea of freedom. It seems magical, dreamy, threatening
and coercive at the same time. Fear and amazement. You have to be awake to what surrounds you.
You must have a radar always on, alert to possible challenges. The project reveals
the ambiguities of these spaces and their changing disguises.
What if the spaces we inhabit, our bedrooms, houses,
buildings, streets, neighbourhoods and peripheries, are the pieces of an
intriguing puzzle we did not choose to solve? Spaces are constructed in a
political way. They do not escape their own time. Some spaces bring lightness
and joy. Others are designed to be coercive. To establish rules and limit
people's activities or possibilities. Spaces that are made to segregate or
marginalize. To protect or control. Spaces become images of a hidden power.
Cities have this dualism. A dreamy, ideal space. A space where design becomes
coercive. We drift and wander, with our eyes closed, as if enveloped by
darkness. However, attracted by the light like an insect to a light bulb. In a
dreamlike state, we slowly lose our ability to observe whether we are being
imprisoned by a coercive model or released by a dream world that is being
unfolded to us. ‘A world in which we are both creators and creatures, both
makers and prisoners: a world which our actions construct and a world that
powerfully constrain us.’ (Philip Abrams, ‘Historical Sociology’)
A contradictory duality. By using our power over space and
reacting to the coercion, or simply contemplating the space, we turn the
duality into something hybrid. Encompassing all kinds of things and places that
are transformed by a moment of careful observation.
To transit space is simultaneously to be subjected to the
puzzle and to claim our capacity to redefine it. We can choose to inhabit the
labyrinth, which can be at the same time the way to escape from it.
Santiago Ortiz Przychodzka (b. 1991, Bogotá, Colombia) is a Polish Colombian
photographer who lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium.
His work revolves around the balance between space, the way
it affects us, and the social dynamics generated by the ambiguities of these
In an effort to overcome his anxieties, he wanders the
streets and spaces of different cities looking for the cracks and fissures
through which the strange, that which is beyond our standard perception, seeps
into our reality. Conversing with that which does not belong to us, and that
which inhabits the outside world, he attempts to lift the veil to reveal what
is hidden, what produces our fears or generates peace of mind. By recognising
the effect of the other on us, we can realise that we are facing the new and
that the concepts that define our reality are becoming increasingly obsolete.
We perceive the magical as the opposite of the real, but magic can be placed on
the same level as the real.
He graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp
with a master’s degree in photography (2020).
In 2021, he participated in a residency program at the
BilbaoArte Foundation in Bilbao, Spain.