Mountains of Uncertainty - Roberto Fernández-Ibáñez
Ratio of Australian house prices to annual household income 2016
"I always liked landscapes, both the natural and the imaginary ones. I walk in the first ones with my body, and with my mind in the latter. But there are mountains and valleys in which we go through without knowing it. They are unpredictable, unstable and sometimes discouraging. In them we are but data, dots in a fictitious landscape not created by Nature but by human mind’s abstraction.
I reject the language used to show trends, its statistical models and their projections. But even though their materialistic look, I perceive a kind of aesthetic behind the graphs and their changing geometry. Mountains and mathematical graphs: landscapes similar in shape, but opposite in essence. Behind the ephemeral financial status of companies or countries and the changes in environmental and social trends, lays the serene pres- ence of perennial, undulated mountains that call me to inner peace and reflection.
So, when the heavy weight of technology, speculation and political interests exhausts me, I search and find shelter in my own mountains. I mold and print them like a hermit in the red cavern of my darkroom, as a cave artist would do.
Based in the real, my mountains belong to an imaginary world, an inner space that beats in my hands and in the memory of that hominid ancestor who followed the creative impulse that we today call art."
Roberto was was born in 1955 in Montevideo, Uruguay. I am self-taught in Photography. My interests are the frontier between the real and the imaginary, the search for meaning, human condition, and environment. My work was published in "Image and Memory -Latin American Photography 1866-1994" Rice Univ Press USA; "PhotoWorld Magazine China: Roberto Fernández-Ibáñez, Renaissance Man" by Alasdair Foster Cultural Development Consulting, Australia; "Alaska Editions" London UK, and Lens Culture, Amsterdam; Premio Descubrimientos del Festival de la Luz, Ediciones Lariviere, Argentine.
I exhibited at FotoFest International Discoveries, Houston USA in 2007 and 2015; Lianzhou Foto Festival 2014, China; Biennial Fotográfica Bogotá 2015, Colombia; Yale University, New Haven CT, USA; Centro Cultural Recoleta, Argentine, FotoWeek Washington DC, among other places worldwide, and I was Winner of the International Portfolio Review at the Festival of Light in Argentine in 2004 and 2014. My work is in the permanent collection of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston TX, USA, and in the FoLA (Latin American Fototeca), Buenos Aires, Argentine, and private collections worldwide. I was invited to show two of my recent series in the Biennial FotoFest 2016 ‘Changing Circumstances’. I live in Solymar, a Uruguayan seaside, where I have my home and darkroom.”
“His handworked, ephemerally delicate and seemingly modest work challenges the giantism of big color pieces of glaciers and trash. Upon closer inspection the handsome oddness proves to be layered and textured reconsiderations of individual gelatin silver prints of drawings he has made of flow chart graphs from the internet. The artist manipulates the emulsion to create profiles of mountain-like shapes of gray and sepia, like 19th Century engravings of unknown topographies, all with subtle political urgency. They are mesmerizingly exquisite and worth the trip to Houston, and for Mr. Fernández, these represent a seismic positive shift as an artist. Yes, they are that good. “