The Hedonic Reversal works capture a complex amalgamation of materials and aesthetic choices. Valenzuela’s photographic process is equally complex. Each image is the result of multiple stages of photographing and re-photographing in the artist’s studio. In this way, Valenzuela alludes to the passage of time and the forces of production and destruction. The monochromatic photographs of Hedonic Reversal present images of urban decay and ruins that have been created in the artist’s studio. By divorcing the imagery from the social conditions that are typically attendant to “beautiful ruins” photography, Valenzuela questions how the viewer’s aesthetic response is altered by the absence of poverty and suffering.
All images ©Rodrigo Valenzuela