Shifting Light

As part of Cubafest, Kingston's celebration of Cuban culture, Modern Fuel presents, in the State of Flux Members' Gallery, "Shifting Light," photographs of Cuba by Elisa Paloschi. For filmmaker/photographer Elisa Paloschi, the camera navigates the delightful exploration of loose borders and imaginary space: where light and shadow meet and the mundanities of everyday reality merge with the splendours of imagination. Her work discovers the uncommon in the common, revealing the underpinnings of what is normal, telling secret-stories through the camera that might have otherwise been missed.

Shifting Light Photos

Elisa Paloschi (Toronto, ON) is a traveler who never stays in one place for long. Early on she discovered that the camera was the ideal tool for expressing herself while on the road. Her work is fuelled by an impetuous desire to partake in the stories that unfold around her and she is drawn to those which that are not at first obvious.

Artist Statement

I photograph in order to identify with hidden qualities of my character and to better understand my reality. My camera, like Alice’s rabbit hole, opens an unexplored world, a place of curious self-expression, but also a world of new relationships, new chances, new beginnings and most importantly new stories.

When I photograph, my choice of subject comes from a place of dreams and distant memories. Later, when I print, the images that speak strongest to me invariably provoke a Déjà vu. My work is fuelled by an impetuous desire to partake in the stories that unfold around me. I seek the unknown and look for the light within the shadows, the stories that are not at first obvious and the uncommon in the common.

My photographs, sometimes colourful and abstract, evoke the idea of imagined space. I use slow shutter speeds, double exposures and playful focus to explore the nuances of movement and the modulation of time. Not concerned with documenting a story, rather a feeling: my images are the result of my immersion in the story and bear witness to my own reactions and actions in the space between my world and my subjects.

My work is deeply personal and the lens points both ways. The body of work of Shifting Light explores the physical and metaphorical spaces were these stories merge, and where ambiguities emerge. It’s not a coincidence that these images, out of focus, unclear and abstract were made in Cuba. During my last visit in 2008, things were noticeably shifting and I witnessed such changes as the lift on the restitutions of owning cell phones and going to hotels. Cuban’s didn’t articulate how the political changes were affecting their lives but there was uncertainly and that’s what I have photographed. I’m not attempting to make a political statement with my work, simply I’m inviting the viewer into the space where stories merge and freedom can be questioned.

Elisa Paloschi