The alchemical slides of Ian Ruhter
In the back of my mind, I like to see that some artists can create beautiful things to overcome ordinary art that is too often without charm. The high-tech world we live in performs a little better every day, but vintage is in the air. The old has become the trend. The artists and hipsters relish this. They believe themselves to be apart from anyone else and enjoy a status that is timeless and oversized with their collection of LPs and tapes that sell for high prices in the underground market and their worn out clothes. Get mixed up in the mass – “Vade Retro Satana , rather die,” they think. Corruption that turns round, drowned by the fashion itself. However I must admit the mixture of current technology generates a lot of graceful and bold projects. A mishmash time that is hard to explain.
Stop, mental reflex. The momentum is too large. I digress from my subject, too stunned to move closer.
The Bell & The Crown, Chiswick, 11:38 am. My third coffee of the morning in the hushed darkness of the pub. Drafts swift across the carpet and make my toes curl. The golden morning fog hasn’t quite yet given its place to the sweet air of recent days. The Thames bed makes small squares on the window panes. I hear the local swans begin to start in the dock. The bartender hears nothing. He prefers the whistle of Michael Bubble to give a second life to his radio. In this gently pitched noise, I continue to scroll down on my computer to the site and portfolio of Ian Ruhter.
Here I see grand space landscapes, melancholy faces, sparkling trees, frozen waterfalls, shades of bronze and silver on old smoked and cracked rings. This American photographer uses all the tricks of a dangerous alchemist. He captures a kind of ice-cream truck with honeycomb holes , the images outside of which reverberate on metal plates all encircled with halos of corrosive substances. With his mobile Photobooth, he is able to see the original technique of photography . “Every picture , every landscape , every photo is an original image . It’s a moment frozen in time . I made a camera, I created a machine to travel through time . ” He is a passionate worker in an evolving art , he advocates the archaic charm of the image to the detriment of digital technology and prefers the matte color of a roll of negatives leaving the hardened complexity of Photoshop.
I can now remember the pictures of my childhood and the family parties where the patriarch becomes the master of ceremonies by explaining for the umpteenth time why and how for every take. My eyes were heavy with my head on my mother’s shoulder, my shriveling body on the feathered cushions being lulled by the crackling noise of the overhead projector .
© Julien Catala