Untitled (Bildkreis)

Hessam Samavatian

Hessam Samavatian, Untitled (Bildkreis)

Installation, photosensitive emulsion on latex

Austria 2016


We are long accustomed to the rectangle as the typical form of photography – but, in fact, the image that passes through the (round) lens and contacts the film or sensor is actually round. Only through industrially customized film products in standardized formats (for instance, the classic 24 x 36 mm dimensions) is it saved as a rectangular image and therewith perpetuates the tradition of the rectangular image canvas.

With the knowledge of this discrepancy between the “image circle” and standardized photographic formats, Hessam Samavatian cast an oval out of latex with a form that roughly correlates with the human field of vision. The latex was then coated with a photosensitive emulsion and exposed in the dark room with an “empty” image circle. The absorbed light blackens the emulsion. The transparency and elasticity of the latex recalls at once an equally so flexible gelatin negative as well as skin, and thus the human counterpart to the photographic apparatus, the eye and the retina as an image carrier. (Ruth Horak)


Hessam Samavatian, born 1984 in Tehran, Iran, lives and works in Vienna, Austria.

See also

Hessam Samavatian, No Black in the Shadows

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