Carlos Loret de Mola

Being Upstate

April 9 – May 30, 2011

This exhibition presents a selection of photographs from a project that I began in 2006 and am just now completing.

In titling it “Being Upstate”, I am not suggesting that I know that much about Upstate New York. It is not really about New York State at all. I use the phrase “being upstate” as a way to characterize my life here and this project is essentially my response to that catagorization.

I began by photographing the landscape because of its strong presence in the art traditionally associated with the Hudson River Valley. I soon got distracted from it and began wondering what the hell I am doing here. I took a portrait of myself in my underwear standing by the stairwell of the old farmhouse I live in. That image became the bellwether for where this project was headed.

“Being Upstate” was originally conceived as a book project, so the images were never intended to stand on their own and tell some complete story. The relationship between the images, their layout and how they would unfold from page to page would define the narrative.

When presented with the opportunity to exhibit this project, I wanted to create a more flexible way to experience it. I wanted to fill a space with images that could relate to one another in a more random, non-linear manner. One could walk into a gallery and begin at any point, gravitating to whatever image or cluster of images that called out to them first. From there they could go in any direction because where they began would relatie to otehr images on other walls in any order. The story would unfold differently for every viewer depending on how they wish to follow it , but in the end it is the same story. One ould even just sit in the middle and take it all in as a whole, giving the viewer a broad feeling for the project without gravitating to specific images.

Many will go from wall to wall in a conventional clockwise order and that is fine but after they get to the supposed end they will realize that , unike a book, there is no structured sequence to this experience. My hope is that the viewer will then wander through the room, just as I wandered through notions and experiences while making these images and bringing them all together as one piece.

Photography allows for unconventional ways to tell stories. We can rely on consciounses and awareness to have a story unfold with no plot, no line, just images that pose questions and suggst answers. Being Upstate is an attempt at autobiography. It relays experiences, emotions and responses through subtle and often elusive connections between the images. The thing I value most about working working with photography in this manner is that the stories are mutable. The narrative can only be hinted at, never explicated.

– Carlos Loret de Mola, 2011

Carlos Loret de Mola was born in Havana, Cuba and currently makes his home in Hudson, New York. He received a Bachelor of Visual Arts from Georgia State University. After a decade-long career of freelance photography and digital imaging in New York City, he relocated to Hudson, where he began his current body of work. His photographs have been exhibited at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art (New Paltz, NY); the Hyde Collection (Glens Falls, NY); Rayko Photo Center (San Francisco, CA) and at the Atlanta Photography Gallery (Atlanta, GA). Loret de Mola’s work was selected for CPW’s inaugural Regional Triennial of the Photographic Arts and published in our magazine PQ in 2005. His photographs have also been exhibited at and are in the collections of such institutions as the Museum of Fine Arts (Houston, TX).