Review: Dos Imperial

2019 | Aperture PhotoBook Review 016

Review of Dos Imperial by Bruno Aeberli & Pauline Piguet


Dos Imperial crafts a multifaceted narrative from seemingly raw materials, whose subtlety and precision unfold slowly throughout the publication. Its recounting of a journey, studded with the tropes of the paradisiac holiday, hints at the exotic and the unexpected, while unassumingly exposing the banality of the trip and its imageries. Dos Imperial appears as a personal experience the authors wish to share and to withhold at the same time, and engages in several narrative strategies to convey its ambiguous tale.

Similar images with minimal variations are conflated, superimposed, and repeated throughout the publication. They allude to the process of making multiple images while one travels, the process of memorizing an experience, and the inevitable haziness and glitches of human memory. The photographic narration relies on the repetition of images as well as the repetition of their motifs—the palm trees and jungle views, the idle tourists, the roads, the sea, the holiday lodging and road signage—bringing them to a blur, the impossibility for the spectator to recall a single one with adequate precision. The photographs echo each other, their small shifts and variations reminiscent of the irritating fleetingness of our ability to recall.”