JOURNEY FROM SYNAPSE TO SYMBOL
Photographer Leonardo Kossoy ponders on the origin of symbols and languages to bring out the long history behind each word and image, as their usages and meanings evolve from primitive synapses to symbols. “A decision to have each symbol afforded an objective meaning pertains to human society’s practical needs, but maybe art should redefine these symbols and restore them to their original complexity ...” he notes, since symbols are largely elements used to determine correspondence between forms and whatever they represent. Symbols evoke intuitions, ideas or feelings and they may be universal. In everyday life, while going beyond our usual habitat we become prey to invading symbols, signs and icons coming in from new media that extrapolate accessibility barriers despite selective algorithms.
Co-existing with these symbols would be difficult in the absence of any attempt to understand their genesis, so Kossoy develops a specific archeology, a discovery process that once again enriches symbols with the complex history of their journey from plain synapse to sophisticated contemporary language. The product of this path is his new series for the Curitiba Biennale. Like humanity as a whole, artists deal in symbols and meanings organized through intelligible languages, so we get written language, spoken language, body language and so forth.
“Fake News”, “Memory” and “Desire” are shown here to look at different facets of a nomadic gaze that decodes everyday contexts into signs isolated from a whole – an attempt to free them from the semiotic universe’s habitual thralldom. Kossoy’s work appropriates separate parts of the human body, documents secreted, and the organic nature of logs and roots that may allude to human existence, regardless of their subjective character.
Commonplace objects in his series “Objects/Subjects” are totally abstracted from their original functions or any personal relation to be arranged in groups as if collected by archaeologists who had discovered fossils, rupestrian inscriptions and unusual objects on a trek abounding in revelations. Objects are rescued as relics worthy of a place in a cabinet of curiosities, or a Wunderkammer. Abstracted from their original function for their newly autonomous roles immersed in a fresh existence freed of any associations that had been imposed on them. This autonomy of Image and Object creates breathing space, a place of repose to be explored and experienced.
Random circles in his “Fake News” book are demarcated (unlimited, unmarked) surface on newspaper, successfully diverted from the usual written communication to a visual media. Here Kossoy’s work is loaded with irony.
His ideas closely relate to Darwinian evolution; the artist views symbols and languages as evolving from random error, distortion, variation and incident.
That is why Leonardo Kossoy proposes we scrutinize these symbols before they are once again transformed by the abyss of time.