B&WConceptEuropeSkin of time by Roberto A. Cabrera

As everybody knows, Photography is the art of ‘writing’ with light. What is written is what light can register: shapes, tones, things and people. In a word, Photography deals with what the philosopher Descartes called ‘extension’.

As everybody knows, Photography is the art of ‘writing’ with light. What is written is what light can register: shapes, tones, things and people.

In a word, Photography deals with what the philosopher Descartes called ‘extension’. ‘Extension’ is an attribute of things (substances) made of matter: in the philosophers own words, res extensa. Primarily, Photography, as a visual art, explores the physical side of the World, the surface of what can be caught by our eyes. I call this the Skin of Things.

This aspect of Photography is so obvious that nobody penetrates any further. However, there is another side to Photography which is not well explored: the relationship between Photography and Time.

When we take a picture, we capture a small portion of a universe of shapes and lines placed together. Whether consciously or unconsciously, we more or less follow rules of composition and perspective. In making a photograph, we make a statement about the World because we choose what will go in the picture and what will not. In brief, we have a perspective and point of view.

But there is one thing that intrigues me. When I shoot, I not only make a statement about what I am seeing. I also do something that goes beyond the Skin of Things and how I display objects in my pictures. I contribute to the revelation of a mystery, an enigma: I make a photograph of Time. Things caught by the light are caught at a certain time, which is unique and unrepeatable. Time is an endless stream. Photography makes a miracle possible, unachieved by any art form before: to stop Time, to register and freeze a moment in the stream of Time. That is the Skin of Time that I would like to explore with my photographs.

From this we can see that Photography has the power to make a drama visual. We are finite beings conscious of the battle against any kind of loss. That is the struggle of life, to stand firm in a losing battle against death and oblivion. But before closing our eyes, we are able to record that battle, that Skin of Time which will eventually destroy our eyes and our consciousness. [Official Website]

Technical Note

The photographs of this portfolio have been taken over a long period of time (from 1997 to 2018) using several films, some of them now discontinued (Ilford PanF+, FP4+, Delta 400 and HP5+, sometimes pushed at 1600 ASA; Agfa APX 100 and 400; and Kodak PlusX-Pan), and developed with Ilford ID-11, Adox Rodinal or Ilford Microphen. 

The prints were made on Ilford FB MG Classic and Cooltone papers with a Beseler 23CII XL, using a El-Nikkor 50 mm f/2.8N and a Rodenstock Rodagon 105 mm. f/5,6 enlarging lens and then developed in Ilford Bromophen 1+3. The photographs were scanned from silver gelatin prints using an Epson Perfection V700 Photo scanner.

Skin of time | Roberto A. Cabrera

Skin of time | Roberto A. Cabrera

Skin of time | Roberto A. Cabrera

Skin of time | Roberto A. Cabrera

Skin of time | Roberto A. Cabrera

Skin of time | Roberto A. Cabrera

Skin of time | Roberto A. Cabrera

Skin of time | Roberto A. Cabrera

Skin of time | Roberto A. Cabrera

Skin of time | Roberto A. Cabrera

Skin of time | Roberto A. Cabrera

Skin of time | Roberto A. Cabrera

Skin of time | Roberto A. Cabrera

Skin of time | Roberto A. Cabrera

Skin of time | Roberto A. Cabrera

Skin of time | Roberto A. Cabrera

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