Introduction and works
As Ferdinand de Saussure said, the quality that shows the mechanism of language is differentiation. It means the difference between sounds or syllables. This quality makes the construction of the language system possible. In a way, the necessary condition for forming any independent syllable is its difference from other syllables.
Sugimoto makes such a difference in the world of colors. Where the accidental system has to show a kind of absolute differentiation between colors. To make a regular order out of the reality of images. Where the symbolic area ignores part of the real. To be able to establish an imaginary whole. In his Optics series, he tries to show a part of reality that has no place in Newton’s current chromatography system. That is, a part of the image that is anonymous.
Sugimoto takes a position on this lack of harmony in the Newtonian system as a whole. Similar to the sensitive subject’s position in the face of the absence of the great other (symbolic order). Instead of dodging or covering up the abyss in front of him, the sensitive subject faces with it. It reveals the gaps of the seemingly hidden whole.
Sugimoto magnifies anonymous and obliterated reality with a photographic process and presents it to us, something similar to a child’s work in the famous story “The King’s New Clothes.” By uttering the phrase “the form is empty” 2 in an article about this exhibition, Sugimoto expresses the absence of another in a loud voice. Although everyone is aware that the king is naked, they ignore it at the cost of keeping the status’s symbolic mechanism.