20 October 2010

Ricardo Bloch's Ali Baba's Cave: Galerie Thalie Paris Opening Thursday Oct 21, 2010

Remember Ali Baba from 1001 Nights?  "One day Ali Baba is at work collecting and cutting firewood in the forest, and he happens to overhear a group of forty thieves visiting their treasure store. The treasure is in a cave, the mouth of which is sealed by magic. It opens on the words 'Open Sesame' and seals itself on the words 'Close, Sesame'. When the thieves are gone, Ali Baba enters the cave himself, and takes some of the treasure home."

That folk tale serves as the adventure of Ricardo Bloch's new series of some 20 large photographs, set to debut at Galerie Thalie in Paris. Bloch enters the cave and does take something: magical photographs of what he finds there.

The photographs form the suite for Bloch's Ali Baba's Cave, in reality a packed warehouse of theater and film company props.  The mannequins form small armies of bald-headed boys; other works are of vast stores of empty bottles, string-wrapped books, old microscopes, mantle-piece clocks and dusty chandeliers, large bird cages, golden statues (an Oscar or two), spools of copper and steel wire, hundreds of canes, sunglasses, shiny Buddhas and dozens upon dozens of vintage toys. It's a dreamscape of the past, and yet extremely contemporary.

"Each composition, found in situ, is a fragment of an eclectic and obsessive cabinet de curiosités, a non-scientific and totally incomplete catalogue of 20th century memorabilia," explains Bloch. "Unrelated objects acquire a synergy by proximity that suggests more than it reveals."

Ricardo Bloch's photographs inevitably recall surrealist protocols, where accident makes cohabitation pregnant with links to the vast image libraries of the unconscious.

The suite of photographs was produced by Mariela Cadiz and Burning Boy Press Paris. "These are pigment prints on Photo Rag Baryta, 315 gram paper," she says. "Each print was meticulously made as I worked closely with Ricardo in a series of proofs that satisfied both the color, depth and textures he required.  We couldn't be happier with the results."

Click the images to enlarge.

The technique and paper suits the subject of Ricardo's photographs very well, giving the works a poetic look with regards to massive accumulation, storage and abandonment of objects. "Part of what we do in printing is to find the exact paper for the subject with respect to the fine detail and the overall look of the works," adds Mariela.

Opening/Vernissage:  Thursday, October 21, 6-9 pm, Galerie Thalie, 26, rue Robert Fleury, 75015 Paris.  Tel: (06) 81 45 33 83. 

See a selection Ricardo Bloch's Ali Baba's Cave Series here.

Bloch's Shandy Books is here.

For more information about printing with Burning Boy Press, please click here.

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