Friday, 26 June 2015
South African artist Nico Krijno’s works are a vibrating riot of colour, objects and patterns tearing through photography’s overpopulated landscape. With a unique and highly stylised vision that finds its form in prints, objects, books and other ephemera, Krijno is a trailblazer exploring the limits of photographic space.
Combatting the pristine nature of the commercial still life and its stable value system, his humourous approach to the genre embraces the myriad of transformations that the medium has endured in its recent history. Krijno is working within a chaotic artistic framework where the very identity of a photograph is in question, the material quality of the photograph has mutated from film to unfathomable digital data and where the speed of production and distribution has increased a million-fold in the past decade. It is with in this framework that the artist’s tools are for the most part intangible. In short, where photography as we once knew it has collapsed. But in its wake a space for experimentation has been born and it is the experiment that is the ‘salvation’ of photography. It is within this borderless turmoil that Krijno is constructing his distinct photographic universe.
In unstable times, the process and practice of the artist is reinvigorated. With a background in theatre and experimental video, the notion of performance is at the core of Krijno’s work. Logging his research and experiments online and in zines, photography becomes a play divided into acts. The photographic frame ceases to act as a transparent window on reality, instead becoming a means to rearrange it. More inventor than observer, he hunts through his surroundings, amassing rubbish and everyday objects to fabricate a private performance that will unfold in front of his lens. With the addition of paint and any textures he can get his hands on, Krijno ‘gets weird’, intuitively building up temporary sculptures and situations electric with possibility. Their transitory existence is then captured by the camera; magically odd and improbable encounters arrested in motion.