12 analog photographs, gelatin silver prints on paper, 64.4 x 47.9 cm
Images: Courtesy of the artist and mor charpentier.
“Narcissus is a complex work made up of several variable parts created using techniques pioneered by the artist. It comprises a series of nine shallow Perspex trays or boxes filled with water, on the surface of which an outline portrait of the artist floats. Muñoz invented a method by which charcoal or black oil pastel may be rubbed through a silkscreen surface over a container of water to print an image on the water’s surface below. During the course of display the water in the trays evaporates, distorting the artist’s portrait until only a fragile trace remains. For the artist this process of evaporation is analogous to memory, which gradually fades over time.” (https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/munoz-narcissus-t12220)
“…If we take into account that a photograph or a conventional drawing materializes when the image is finally fixed on the support, in the Narciso this is only accomplished when the water, which is the distance between the image and the support, completely evaporates. Narciso also paradoxically reverses the idea of the portrait as a way of eternalizing an unrepeatable instant, exposed here to a continuous transformation in time like the portrait of Dorian Gray.
These three moments in the process of Narciso: when the dust touches the water and is converted into an image, the process and changes it undergoes during evaporation, and when the dust finally adheres to the bottom, for me allude to the three definite moments: creation, life and death.” (Interview between Miguel González and Óscar Muñoz for Óscar Muñoz, catalog MAM.Bogotá, 1996, as quoted in Óscar Muñoz, catalog for the exhibition November 13, 2009 – January 17, 2010, eds. Ingrid Fischer-Schreiber and Genoveva Rückert [Linz: OK Offenes Kulturhaus Oberösterreich, 2008].)
Óscar Muñoz, born 1951 in Popayán, Colombia, lives and works in Cali, Colombia.
Óscar Muñoz, catalog for the exhibition November 13, 2009 – January 17, 2010, eds. Ingrid Fischer-Schreiber and Genoveva Rückert (Linz: OK Offenes Kulturhaus Oberösterreich, 2008).