Andrea Alkalay is deeply interested in ‘the discrepancy between what we see and what we know’, and looks for the poetic and political potential in her observations.
Alkaly's Landscape on Landscape series is an observation into the notion of "landscape", which is defined variously, within a gamma of changing ideas about place.
The project introduces a dialogue between figuration/abstraction where the real and the manipulated overlap. In the foreground is the monochrome scenery and behind, it's digital backstage. These double photographs combine opposing codes that attract each other, such as the perception of color through its absence or the flatness of paper through its fold. The range of colors that emerge seems artificial at glance, although they belong to the natural world. They are working as a code bar breaking the surface illusion to draw attention to the artifice and materiality of the photographic representation.
In her most recent project, KUTHO, Alkalay overlays 24k gold leaf over black and white photographs to conjure up the ancient relationship between gold and religion. ‘KUTHO’ takes its inspiration from a Burmese ritual undertaken by Buddhist monks who connote merit-making by covering relics with gold leaf to enhance their karma. This ritual is available only to males, as women are perceived to have an impure status.
"Art is a path towards the genuine in pursuit of truth. I know 'truth' may not exist, but the attempt seems valid to me, and it is what prompts me to do and say….I use the same leaf to seal my memory with the gold light, which grace, I cannot access and I post a question about the duality of human nature, on those cultural orders that are so assimilated, that these dualities cannot be easily not seen”.
Andrea Alkalay is a visual artist based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Trained as an Industrial Designer, Alkalay now works primarily in photography and photography and mixed media.