by Oliver Orest Tschirky
Miguel Soler-Roig is a conceptual photographer and perfectionist. Following his thoughts and beliefs, he carefully selects, elaborates and develops the concepts for his photographic series. As photographer he is not looking for the decisive ephemeral moment and taking snap shots. He is working with content-based concepts like Dian Arbus combined with sophisticated compositions of the pictures. With his pictures he is searching for the idea behind the things, and the focus lies on consciousness about life as well as on memories, especially on the individual memories from the youth. The resulting series of pictures are like excerpts of an ongoing story, frozen in time, like the symbolic Spanish still lifes from the 17th century, the bodegónes, or a storyboard of a movie. Aesthetically he is very selective, allows only given locations, natural light, the right angle, few captures, no post-processing. Through this well-elaborated setting, framing and lighting, he emphases the control of the scenery and social landscape. His photographs are neither documental nor fictive but in between, they are a synthesis of narrative and biographic elements. Therefore, his pictures are an intensive school of seeing because not vision or fiction but the sensation of the viewer is his purpose by creating a documentation between true and fictive perception. And by reason of touched imagination the viewer starts to belief that they may be parts of his own life and memories, at least form another or an earlier life.
Miguel Soler-Roig is a philosopher. He walks though the world with open eyes and senses, and life studied philosophy for him. His field of study are afterglows, or more exactly, nostalgia and with-it identity, individuality and self-definition of the human being made by consciousness. Nostalgia describes a longing to past things and can refer both to one's own life and to times not experienced by oneself. As good art has always been touching our existence, Miguel Soler-Roig tries to find the essence of the common awareness of life and make it visible. He constructs from his individual memories of the life of his childhood references to fictive collective nostalgia on the half way to happiness, enchantment, and oblivion, based on the desire for harmony and order. With the lasting captures of consciousness and nostalgia, memories, and reverie, he invents also a symbolic transition between past and future to improve the present since his idealization of selective retention makes life more livable. Because of his believe in the positive, individual freedom and reasonability, he dreams of a better world, harmony, humanity, eternal values, and – of course – nostalgia as a connecting element. As world citizen, humanistic idealist and sophisticated gentleman, he is at home everywhere, speaks somehow all languages, respects all kind of people, and did his own Grand Tour. By analyzing our time, the world, the society, and the own, he is thoughtful and responsible, feels alive and grateful. And he wants to share this and give a positive stimulus. For him, our brain is made to remember the good, forget the bad, and a crisis is a trigger for creativity and basis for phoenix. In his earlier life, he was graphic and brand designer and communicator of ideas. As philosopher he catches fugitive reflections of the moment, involves history and meaning, synchronizes past with present, creates nostalgy in a positive sense without regrets, and makes us to involved witnesses – here and now in front of his artworks.
Miguel Soler-Roig is an ingenious contemporary artist. Why? Because great artists are sensors and mirrors. That means that they observe the world, extract with sensitivity elemental aspects, and possess the necessary urge and professional means to express the reflections and transfer them to us. Great art has no implied purpose and no specific function, but it nourishes our thoughts and senses, expands our perspectives and knowledge, enriches our minds. And great artworks touch our raison d’être and can never be conclusively understood. Miguel Soler-Roig fulfils perfectly all three conditions. For this, he stringently generates narratives halfway between reality and fiction, transforms personal, subjective and intimate perspectives into common consciousness, materializes his concerns to profound picture series, and presents them in well-considered installations. Furthermore, photography is said to be the art of our time because it records the human condition more exact and faster than any other artistic medium. In this sense, the concept-based sequences by Miquel Soler-Roig leave the field of pure visibility, document the idea of memorable moments that he lived in the paternal house and will not return, recur reminiscences to the past for the present that remain for the future, and make us apprehend the human insight and psychological states. With his capacities Miquel Soler-Roig is able to capture sensations, to portray consciousness about life and nostalgia, to stimulate the memory of the memory, and as ongoing project with a twinkle in the eye even to document his nostalgic memory of his life before birth.
OLIVER OREST TSCHIRKY
Works as an independent curator and art critic. Oliver has held positions as Curator at the Kunsthaus Langenthal, Vice Director at Art Basel and Art Basel Miami Beach, Gallery Director at Artvera’s, Geneva, and Director of the Art Academy of St. Gallen and assistant Curator at the Museum of Fine Art Bern. Oliver Orest Tschirky specializes in modern and contemporary art, he holds a Master degree in International Relations from the Universities of St. Gallen, Switzerland, as well as a Master of Art History, Philosophy and Film Studies from the Universities of Lausanne and Bern, in Switzerland.