by Dr. María Cecilia Barbetta
Catalog for Paris Photo, 2012
Miguel Rothschild is inspired by the idea of calling art into question. Out of this inner debate, reversible figures have emerged which all take photography as their starting point. Studied from a distance, Rothschild's impressive starry sky has a majestic quality; the moment we approach the picture, however, it metamorphoses into an allegory of shattered dreams. Thus perceived, aids such as pins and nails seem terribly beautiful. Their shining heads are set in myriads of stars: for in Rothschild's case, it is literally a question of getting to the very essence of all phenomena. He is a person who wants to discover, at any price, what lies behind the things – assuming, of course, that something does lie hidden behind them.
Precisely because we live in a desacrilized world in which art is increasingly being made to serve as projection surface for transcendence, Rothschild is intent on analysing its properties as closely as possible. To this end, photographs must be laid on the dissecting table before they are hung up in the exhibition room. Once there, they are cautiously perforated; in an ironic manner, attributions are undermined and certainties largely divested of meaning. All that is static begins to shake: until it finally makes way for new modes of visual perception.
Although he is not a dreamer, Rothschild is nevertheless inspired by that romantic epoch which regarded itself as the continuation of religion with aesthetic means, by the spirit of an age that was able to endure contradictions, knowing full well that – anchored in these – the beauty of all mysteries was waiting to finally be revealed.