This space was initially created to support my first course dedicated to Abstract Photography called "Abstraction, Photography and Play".
Abstraction has been inherent in Photography since the day of its conception.
Historically, the development of the photographic medium has been both to represent the world and to interpret the world in terms of changing it by
creating a new vision, a new optical reality.
"Aside from man's eternal wish to empathize with the world he perceives, to enter into it
and convey and interpret experiences, there is also an eternal desire to change the world
and ultimately to create a new world."
An abstract photograph is another view on the notion of abstraction, it is
another view on reality, it is a reality itself - a new reality.
An abstract photograph is a realised potentiality of the endless ones that the medium of photography can offer us. Its immanent
forces withdraw from the real into multiple divergent paths of the darkness
of the camera obscura in order to become real again but in a different new
"The photographer is committed to the exhaustion of the photoprogramme, and to the
realization of all the virtualities contained there. The programme, however, is rich
and nearly impenetrable. The photographer is committed, then, to discovering hidden
virtualities in the programme... A well programmed camera can never be wholly seen
through by any photographer, nor by all photographers together. It is, in the largest
sense, a black box. It is precisely the blackness of the box that challenges the
Photography is about flirting with the real.
Abstract photography is about a continuous play with the light in an endless
process of exploring and experimenting with its amazing qualities.
"It is already many years since the sun revealed to us its power to portray objects and
beings more quickly and more accurately than can pencil or crayon. It seemed to work
only its own way and its own pleasure. At first man was restricted to making permanent that
which the impersonal and unsympathetic light had registered. He had not yet been permitted
to imbue it with thought. But today it seems that thought has found a fissure through
which to penetrate the mystery of this anonymous force, invade it, subjugate it, and compel it
to say such things as have not yet been said in all the realm of chiaroscuro, of grace,
of beauty and of truth."
This web space has borrowed its name Playing and Reality from Donald
Winnicott's omonymous book on the psychoanalytic aspect of the importance
of "play" in the development of the human being.
According to Winnicott, play takes place in an intermediate area between internal and external reality.
This area - the potential space - is "allowed to the infant between primary creativity and objective perception based on reality-testing."
The potential space is "a third area of human living, one neither inside the individual nor outside in the world of shared reality."
Creativity is the result of this play, which Winnicott applies to all aspects of human life and not just the cultural activities and art in particular.
To draw a parallel in photography, abstraction takes place in a similar intermediate potential space between the reality world as the object of reference and the intrinsic properties of the medium of photography.
All content and images are copyright ©Eva Kalpadaki and may not be reproduced without permission.