Still in their twenties, Jason and Carlos Sanchez seem to have already mastered the visual alloys that corrode the establishment — be it secular, religious, social or individual. With their poster size allegories, the Sanchez Brothers are the enfants terribles of a generation of “artist-photographers” that has overtly used the camera not so much to index as to invent, and challenge institutions by ways of critiquing their representation. From the 3d of September, their unfinished tales of alienation and verboten family histories can be seen at TORCH Gallery. With their amused and stereotypically mafia-like overtones, the Sanchez Brothers advertise themselves as a bad kid’s gang having fun and taking pleasure in transgression. But these apparently harmless games are but a part of their secret craft: Ultimately they intend to unveil the horrors of social norms and trigger our repressed desires.
Relying heavily on Christian iconography and family clichés, most of their works revolve around three main themes of the familiar as uncanny: Individuals as victims of their own obsessions, sacrifices as the outcome of social rituals, and rooms over-flown. As water and blood invade kitchen and bedroom, they become the materialization of the repressed desires that threaten the individual’s cohesion at the very heart of intimacy. The Sanchez Brothers’ photographs make visible the hidden workings of the nuclear family and other social structures that at once generate the very desires they repress in exchange for ritualized sacrifices. However, as a result of their film-like production processes, the Sanchez Brothers’ imageries display the ideal perfection of fantasies and still leave the body untouched. Because they rely on semantic ambiguity, the only film of which they could be a still is the one which unrolls in each spectators’ mind. Suspended in the very pleasures of decoding the layers of cultural references, the spectator himself performs the narrative closure as he sketches out on his own the myriad possible endings to each scene. Thus, to every witness, a different plot unfolds, and a different moral is revealed. The multitude of possible significations constructs fragmented identities who, at last, might even take pleasure in the representation of imminent threat and fear.
Catherine Somzé, Amsterdam 2005