Tania Franco Klein: Proceed to the Route
“I lost my sense of home,” Franco Klein says of her life lived between Mexico City, California and London.
Recently I had the great pleasure of attending an exhibition walk-through with Mexican artist Tania Franco Klein of her solo show, Proceed to the Route at the Rose Gallery in Santa Monica. Tania is a compelling story teller and provided an engaging narration and perspective of work that takes the viewer through a cinematic journey of internal and external road trips.
Presented like a set of film stills, the exhibition allows the viewer to create their own navigation of these psychological tableaux, shimming with brilliant mid-century colors and shafts of light that illuminate small novelas. The photographs examine self in the digital age, considering the insidious nature of technology keeping us on course and the performative stresses that come from living life online. There is a sense of searching in these film-noir tales, filled will desire to live different lives, to discover new incarnations, and most importantly, to get lost. Proceed to the Route aptly describes not only work that has veered off course, but a unique presentation of framed and unframed work, sometimes overlapping, and hung at different levels, that has a landscape all it’s own.
The exhibition runs until January 18th, 2020. Tania also has a new monograph, Positive Disintegration, published by Editions Bessard.
I am lost. But my map seems to know where I am going.
But am I lost? Is being lost even possible in this place that knows it all?
I want to stop. But she insists; Proceed to the route. Proceed to the route.
Somewhere in between the outskirts and progress.
Between the mountains and the signs.
Where the landscape turns gray and leaving becomes the most obvious possibility.
I forgot how to be lost. I live in that time where disappearing means putting an airplane sign on the screen.
I insist. I want to walk the road without knowing. I want to get lost. I finally have the courage to press the break. I get down from my car and leave her behind. She can’t stop being herself though. As I walk far I can hear her still saying. Proceed to the route
Proceed to the Route
The map as a representation of the territory, and the internet as a representation of life.
Proceed To The Route takes its name from the popular quote which starts every journey in Google Maps and which appears as a reminder every time a wrong turn is done.
The roads and freeways once shaped the paths of progress. Today, those roads are mostly visited by passengers who rarely know where they are going but flow at a fast pace without stopping. Having access to the knowledge to go anywhere, and still knowing nothing. Progress has overpassed us, leaving a state of nothingness and confusion in our eclectic-overconnected reality in which history runs faster than the seconds on the clock.
It is in the emptiness of the countryside that one can situate an encounter of an old lifestyle that still waits for its abandonment and containment, reflecting the new growth of a central capitalist system.
The drifters and travelers, all passing through some state of nothingness, that share private moments in public spaces, are a clear example of the ephemeral, crowded, and at the same time almost empty, leftovers of contemporary cities.
Tania Franco Klein (b. 1990) started her photography praxis while gaining her BA Architecture in Mexico City, which took her to pursue her Master in Photography at the University of the Arts London.
Her work is highly influenced by her fascination with social behavior and contemporary practices such as leisure, consumption, media overstimulation, emotional disconnection, the obsession with eternal youth, the American dream in the Western world and the psychological sequels they generate in our everyday life.
Franco Klein’s work has been reviewed and featured by international critics including Aperture Foundation, The British Journal of Photography, I-D Magazine (UK), The Guardian, Paris Review, Der Greif, Fisheye Magazine Vogue Italia and has been commisioned by clients like New York Magazine and Dior.
Her work has been exhibited across Europe, USA, and Mexico, including international fairs such as Photo Basel, Photo London, Photofairs SF, Getxo Photo and during the Los Angeles Month of Photography. She has obtained the Sony World Photography Awards in two consecutive years, The Lensculture Exposure Awards, The Felix Schoeller Photo Award of Germany Nominee, FOAM Paul Huf Award nominee, and recently received the Photo London Artproof Schliemann Award as the best emerging artist during Photo London fair 2018. Her first U.S. Solo Exhibition opened in the fall of 2019 at ROSEGALLERY, Santa Monica.
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