SouthKiosk editorial

text by Philip Serfaty

Mirko Smerdel unearths discarded or forgotten images, and through a process of observation and contextualisation offers new, unexpected readings of them.

Mirko Smerdel’s work is largely informed by found images or objects. Starting with anything from an amateur photograph, discarded film or other documents of unknown origins, Smerdel contextualises it within a framework of his own ideas and concerns. However, this is not without honouring the history of the found imagery he has discovered. The imagery becomes proof of events, people and relationships that have been obscured by time. As a result, many of Smerdel’s projects tend to incorporate a process of restoration. His most recent work, The Dead Commercials, began when he came across a 35mm film that was unrolled and abandoned on the streets of Milan. He recovered the film and scanned the negatives, to find adverts for a variety of products. The still frames are so removed from their original context, that the images appear absurd, almost farcical.  Smerdel has drawn parallels between these images and the way in which zombie films have a tendency to satirise capitalism. The films were eventually hung to spell out a quote from George Romero’s Diary Of The Dead, that perfectly encapsulates the critical perspective found in his films:

“The more voices there are, the more spin there is. The truth becomes that much harder to find. In the end its all just noise.”

Sensual Hallucinations / Lourdes 1958 is a series of found anaglyph photograms that explore the pilgrimages that have been taking place in Lourdes since the mid 1800’s. Despite the town having a population of only 15,000 people. 5,000,000 pilgrims visit each year, a result of multiple sightings of the Virgin Mary. The images depict processions of pilgrims, celebrations, the sanctuary itself and a number of statues and structures that act as totems of religious experience. Due to the stereoscopic nature of the photograms, they evoke the hallucinatory experiences that are often associated with spiritual transcendence.

Both these works offer evidence , with Smerdel acting as a filter that offers new readings into past situations and occurences. We see them not only through the mediums that were used in their documentation, but through Smerdel’s subjective recontextualisation of the found imagery, and our own collective memory.

See more at:

Questo inserimento è stato pubblicato in publications e il tag , , . Metti un segnalibro su permalink. Inserisci un commento o lascia un trackback: Trackback URL.

Scrivi un Commento

Il tuo indirizzo email non verrà mai pubblicato o condiviso. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati con *

Puoi usare questi tag e attributi HTML <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


Questo sito usa Akismet per ridurre lo spam. Scopri come i tuoi dati vengono elaborati.