Karina Peisajovich: Every time i see a rainbow

Argentine artist Karina Peisajovich’s photo series “Cada vez que veo un arco iris” [“Every time I see a rainbow”] has a date on which it began, but it has yet to come to an end. The project began one summer in 1998 when, on her way to Mar del Sur, she decided to stop to photograph the magical, heavy sky that momentarily surrounded her. It foreshadowed a coming storm and a rainbow cut across it, a diaphanous, multicolored streak rising up from the horizon. Peisajovich says that her initial interest was spurred by the idea of photographing the phenomenon, that ephemeral apparition caused by light refracting through raindrops that results in a spectrum of colours. However, in doing so, it awoke her desire to continue her search to capture that “certain something” that, according to the artist, neither language nor culture can sufficiently express, whose fleeting nature only adds to its magic.

While that first photograph was nothing but a holiday snapshot, reprinting it a decade later triggered her decision to make that chance shot into a series, with the intent of recording and storing each of these encounters, no matter which one of her cameras she had with her, or the environment in which a rainbow appeared. Since then, in this work in progress, far from being a repetitive motif, the rainbow becomes a tool that opens up new dimensions of meaning. It slips into one image after another, seducing us, asking us to focus our attention on a space that was surely empty to the eye before it revealed itself.

Photos in order of appearance:
Buenos Aires, January 1998
Buenos Aires, 23 July 2011
Buenos Aires, 11 August 2011
Buenos Aires, 18 September 2011
París, 22 May 2015
New York, 16 April 2016
New York, 25 April 2016
Buenos Aires, 10 June 2016

In Buenos Aires, Madrid, or New York; on the wall of her apartment, or in the view from her balcony; in a lumberyard or a shop window in the city; in a majestic sky, or reflected in a tile on a terrace. Once we stop thinking of a rainbow as being only that immense, distant bridge that crosses the sky, we realize that we can see them anywhere. Like a ghost, a rainbow can take any form, and no surface can stand as an obstacle to its appearance. The variety of its appearance is recorded in the series “Cada vez que veo un arco iris”, an ongoing project by Karina Peisajovich since 1998. It has become not only a way of documenting the optical and meteorological phenomenon of multicolored light, but is also a different way to keep a diary, to record the journey taken by her body and, more specifically, her gaze, or even a way to follow the technological evolution of the photographic devices she carries with her. It is based on a practice dedicated to studying and working with light, which acts as a material that Peisajovich records, engages and models. She does not seek out this work, and yet it continues to find her. It also provides her with the opportunity, over time, to look for the answer to the question of how is the metaphysical capable of revealing itself through the material? And how does her observational capacity to receive these intangible manifestations vary in each circumstance?

Photos in order of appearance:
Buenos Aires, 10 June 2016
Buenos Aires, 11 June  2016
Buenos Aires, 14 June 2016
Buenos Aires, 15 June 2016
Buenos Aires, 9 September  2016
Buenos Aires, 7 October 2016
Madrid, 21 February 2017
Buenos Aires, 23 June 2017

Karina Peisajovich’s series “Cada vez que veo un arco iris” includes images of precise lines that trace geometries and forms we associate with the art of abstraction or blotches. There are photographs that are practically in technicolor, and others that are sober shots in shades of gray. There are some in which conceptual games are played, triggering multiple associations or more romantic visions, and there are others of a symbolic tone that record the appearance of the flash of light as if it were a sign or an omen. As visual discoveries and photographic compositions, these works operate as investigations of the artist’s universe, and of all the ways in which she has learned to read and construct an image. They thus uncover the extent of her own way of looking, which, for Peisajovich, has “an inexplicable quality of a ghost: it is artificial, imaginary, fragile, conceivable and constructed at the same time,” somewhat like rainbows themselves. As the artist reflects, quoting Goethe, “only the like-minded can recognize the like-minded.”

Photos in order of appearance:
Buenos Aires, 29  March  2018
Buenos Aires, 15 June  2018
Buenos Aires, 25  August  2018
Buenos Aires, 12  May  2019
New York, 15 December  2019
Buenos Aires, 20 May  2020
Buenos Aires, 7 November  2020
Buenos Aires, 29 November  2020