One of piel’s portmanteaux which invite the viewer into a new world, into a new landscape; in this instance the plate is the territory. Only this map denotes not only a physical geography, it is also a trace of a person, like a fingerprint, or leaves of tea that we are invited to divine.
piel began photographing Platescapes when working on large scale shoots, photographing plates after the crew had eaten lunch. The project comprises photographs and also audio recordings of conversations that took place during the meals.
Look closely, up close. The proximity of the subject to the camera suggests intimacy. In our day-to-day lives we have grown used to viewing objects at a certain scale. Gone is the child-like curiosity that draws scrutiny upon an object, the magical object coveted and visually explored in hyper-focus. To see such objects close up reminds us of being children, when the world was larger than it is now. It also speaks of lovers, those we allow to approach us, to see us ‘up close’.
The images within Platescapes begin to suggest a search for a grammar; there is a need to decipher a language, to find meaning.
The metaphoric bones, the menacing-eyed shrimp, the lonely fork, the sauce asking to stay … In the universal activity of man lies a universe of gestures and emotions, a thumbprint of our particular identities, left on tables around the world, everyday.
Platescapes draws upon piel’s enduring need to get under the skin of his subject, to try and understand and reveal something of their reality. In many ways Platescapes are wryly curious observations of others; in that respect these images are as much portraits as any conventional portrait.