Photography

Maya Rochat, The Chromophagist

By Brad Feuerhelm on September 1, 2015

Overall, there is a feeling of a plasma covering the base images, they become ethereal and layered in a way that is deceptively pop.

By Brad Feuerhelm, ASX, August 2015

I lost count of the jellyfish that littered the beach that day. There were many that had washed ashore with plastic lighters, dis-used cans, perhaps a sanitary napkin here and there that refused to biodegrade. Some were consistent and bulbous, all were silent. They reminded me of my mother’s opal ring. The ring would hold my attention under its milky surface a calculated sparkle fighting towards the surface. Don’t opals come from Switzerland? Each jellyfish would shine with the same glitter like luminosity birthed from some strange nectar-infused reach below the water’s violent surface. All were silent. Each still, in their stillness reached out, not via ganglion, nor tremors of death throes, but that of sparkle. That sparkle, how does it encompass my eye in a dancing matter from all this stillness?

It reminded me of the will my eye presents to consume, an ode to chromophagy via heliophagist practice. We could never ingest colour without sun the same way. Our cuisine is not relegated to one taste, one consummation. Without the suns beating rays shrinking the cold, but warming bodies in front of me, I couldn’t refuse to consume their color, opaque as it seemed on first glance, webs of manufactured glistening. All was calm and yet all was dancing in front of me and yet still all were silent.

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Rochat has chosen materials, color, and a method of presentation that very much sums up a pattern of what 21st century has given society through advertising, pop videos, and the like. It is clever enough to remain completely autonomous and lacks the problematic discourse of “trying too hard”.

Maya Rochat’s book from META/BOOKS is a study in abstraction and chromophilic tendency. I have been familiar with her work for a few years and I am lucky enough to own one of her earlier hand-made books. This tome from META/BOOKS is fairly representative of her interest in fluoro-luminescence and color. Her hand-worked material glistens with both glitter and with a saturated orange veneer, lots of orange fluorescent paint. Her work is due also to Delphine Bedel, whom she has worked with for three volumes.

Overall, there is a feeling of a plasma covering the base of the images. They become ethereal and layered in a way that is deceptively pop. It is deceptive, because our collective eyes are forced to consume her palette this way. It creates a sort of prism effect for the eye with its glistening texture and undulating surface. Rochat has chosen materials, color, and a method of presentation that very much sums up a pattern of what 21st century has given society through advertising, pop videos, and the like. It is clever enough to remain completely autonomous and lacks the problematic discourse of “trying too hard”. If you are stuck in the ghetto of photography and you are seeking a book with a story or timeline, this is not for you. If you are open-minded and seek value based on aesthetics and color, this is perfect and it is highly recommended.

If you are stuck in the ghetto of photography and you are seeking a book with a story or timeline, this is not for you. If you are open-minded and seek value based on aesthetics and color, this is perfect and it is highly recommended.

Maya Rochat
A Plastic Tool
META/BOOKS

(All rights reserved. Text @ Brad Feuerhelm. Images @ Maya Rochat.)

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