Uninhabited Temples (The Empty Niche). Triptych
Photography (Black and White) Silver Gelatin.
90 x 75 cm.
Ed-5 + 1-AP
“Of God it is said that he does not exist. Now, what does it mean when it is said of something that does not exist? Is not this, in itself, a paradoxical statement? Well, it says that something is nothing -God is nothing. Now, if it is something, how can it be nothing? Then, where do we stand, is it something or nothing? Something is not nothing. Something is something. Only nothing is nothing.”
Jesús González Requena
(Conference presented at the 3rd International Congress of Textual Analysis, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, 15/4/2005)
Memory and its temporal-historical dimension:
Ernesto Benitez has been documenting the empty or bricked up niches -former possible altars- in cathedrals, churches and other sacred precincts in Europe and America for years. This series of black and white photographs (silver gelatine) proposes a scenography of frozen and petrified abysses. Concave enclaves, as if hollowed out by a punch in the cold walls. Each photographed “stage”, an absolute, solid and dense space that emerges from the penumbra in a snapshot that tries to reinforce the verticality and its aura of stability, firmness or, supposed ascension in contrast with the physical, performative impossibility of the represented environment. Each photographed “scenario”, a mere lapse, a brief moment isolated, separated… splintered off from temporal course. A hollow in the memory; a vault, a crypt, a new tomb… an encapsulated instant. Walled up, forgotten; every empty niche has devoured its past and, apart from its historical-temporal dimension, does not foresee a possible future.
See the installation with New Media that completes this series of works.