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Martin Volman

The other side of the mirror

“Natural objects may be made to delineate themselves without the aid of the artist’s pencil” (Henry Fox Talbot in The Pencil of Nature (1844-1846))
This project is based on taking images with a digital microscope. Even when this device is invented 250 years before photography, the relationship between both instruments can be established in 1840 when the first microscopic photographs of J. B Dancer were known.
The microscope was (and still is) thought as an objective and mechanical device. But what implies to take those images digitally and in an artistic way? Which is the use of scientific images?
This leads to an interesting discussion about the objectivity and neutrality of the mechanism of the objects that capture images.
On plate XIII of his book The pencil of Nature, Talbot writes: “That is one of the attractions of photography, the photographer himself discovers on examination, perhaps long afterwards, that he has depicted many things of which he had no idea at the time”.
Precisely that is the goal of the microscope: to show what is not available at a first sight, what the eye escapes.
The question is, once again, the same: What are we talking about when we talk about photographs?


Buenos Aires, 1989
Nowadays he is studying with Ariel Authier and is wrote his sociology thesis about the analog to digital transition in photography.
He took part of PAC Foto and previously studied documentary photography at International Center of Photography (ICP).
Martin made workshops with Bruno Dubner, Alberto Goldenstein, Jorge Miño, Günther Selichar, Rosana Schoijett, Alfredo Srur and Hito Steyerl, among others.
His work was showed in Argentina, Austria, Germany, Poland, Russia and Uruguay.
He lives and works in Buenos Aires.