This makes them atypical seekers, or creators of images. They explore various ways of using or recycling photographs, a highly undefined medium, in terms of message. Utilising found photographs and drawing on her own references, Noemi constructs the fictional story of a complete stranger. Arven, on the other hand, focuses on exploring so-called informal photography, where images are taken spontaneously and without deliberation, as visual vignettes for some unarticulated ideas. Both artists tell stories of intimate environments, stories that hide more than they reveal. Yet they produce highly associative photographs, the lack of context only increasing the challenge of attempting to interpret their works rationally.
In her series Empty or Full, Arven exhibits photographic diptychs, reflecting on everyday chores and occurrences. Their square format implies (or indeed derives from) the instantaneousness of Instagram, an online platform used primarily to directly capture and circulate private occasions. Today, Instagram is the most elementary form of vernacular photography. The author’s motifs are highly informal and intimate, ambiguous yet associative, invariably based on subtle duplication of motifs and meanings. Each diptych tells its own non-linear story, pointing to archetypal subjects such as birth and death, captivity and freedom, and the life cycle.
In a sense, the ‘life cycle’ is also a subject matter for Noemi. If a personal album of photographs is a reflection of one’s life, then the loss of an entire archive could, at least symbolically, represent one’s death. By chance, the author happened upon a vast collection of personal photographs of a complete stranger chronicling a long period of his life. The found material opens up a number of questions: Who is the person in the photographs? And most importantly, what is the reason the photographs were discarded? Noemi reconstructs his life based on her own expectations, notions and fixations, which hint at the obsessiveness of modern voyeurism. The photographs were subjected to examination, attempted interpretation, performative refinement, and physical intervention by the artist culminating in a fictional story steeped in the universal power of image.