Connected and lonely: Tania Franco Klein's digital limbs
The American dream and its awakening in the work of this colossal Mexican photographer on show until January 18 in Los Angeles.
"Proceed to the route." Siri's voice was still searching for a way, even though the Internet signal had long since abandoned them. She and her boyfriend were in the middle of the California desert, driving along a road surrounded by cactus and mountain ridges that were lost in the dust, disconnected but at the same time accompanied by Siri's hammering: "Proceed to the route". Then Tania wondered if it was possible to disconnect completely if there was still somewhere that the raised thumb of new technologies could not reach. A digital limbo.
That's how "Proceed to the route" came about, the young Mexican photographer's latest ongoing series, where she explores hyper-connectivity through Western micro-cities that have been forgotten like mushrooms on the side of highways, "intermediate places" in states like California, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah.
Her images, born as she herself recalls, of an era of extreme anxiety and confusion about the future-the existentialism of our times-are almost cinematic self-portraits full of nostalgia but without a common thread other than the isolation of the self-absorbed woman in a society, in the words of South Korean philosopher Byung-Chul Han, of "weariness and oppression."
"We participate in a system in which we want to be rewarded for what we are and do constantly. Disconnecting is this dream, something that cannot be completely achieved."
In one of these, Klein appears on her back with a bra and pants looking at a desolate field of bushes; a scene of vague desperation and urgency. In another, we are presented with a darkened room, perhaps in a roadside motel, where loneliness is extreme despite the fact that the television is on.
At 27, Tania Franco Klein is already a master of light and color. In her photographs, with their saturated shades, the old gold of the sunset is contrasted with very bright colors, such as green or red, and she refers us to what seems to be a time long before that of home computers to talk about emotions in the digital age.
"We participate in a system in which we want to be rewarded for who we are and what we do constantly. Disconnecting is this dream, something that cannot be completely achieved," the photographer told the LA Times.
"The world is in the palm of your hand and you can have access to everything. Every second of your life has to be productive, it's like we've become production tools," she concludes.
In just three years, Franco Klein has become one of the photographers who best reflects contemporary anxiety, winner of prestigious awards such as LensCulture, Sony Photograph Awards, and Photo London, and commissioned to portray the Dior Cruise 2019 (Christian Dior's haute couture collection). After exhibiting at the main fairs and festivals around the world, her work will be on display at the Rose Gallery in Santa Monica until January 18.
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