Perth is the most isolated metropolis in the world. In the current context of globalisation, this Western Australian capital bears resemblance to our European Materialist societies. This urban environment has inspired the photographer, Christophe Canato, to create a series of photographs entitled ‘Ragamuffins’.
Consumption, possession, ownership, affection, abandonment, globalisation, migration, nomadism, mobility, homelessness and solitude are but a few of the notions explored in Christophe’s body of work.
Ragamuffins is a photographic series of abandoned couches and armchairs throughout the streets of Perth and its surrounding suburbs. This census of objects of near human resemblance is based on the communal theme which focuses on consumer habits and human behaviours in our materialistic society.
From the frills of a flowery patterned grandmother chair to the cracks in a red-leather couch or the missing spring of a bargain recliner, the members of our community have left their mark on Christophe Canato’s photographs. These photographs also carry the stigma of our social classes, from the lowest to the highest, the industrious to the indolent, the blossoming to the withering…
If one can easily conjure a classification, then one can also picture the life of the furniture’s past owners and the manner in which they have adapted to their social surroundings. From the most luxurious to the most miserable, one can raise the question as to how many of these couches will find a second life and therefore some comfort into the makeshift housing of those disowned by society.
Through the warm colours of the artificially lit city, Christophe Canato’s nocturnal shots give the inanimate objects a soul. The context is cosy, intimate and warm hearted, nevertheless the ideas of isolation, solitude and abandonment still maintain their significance. These photographs encourage the viewer to focus on the object and its immediate environment: a street, a building…
With a feeling of déjà-vu, Christophe Canato’s images create an amalgamation between the idea of indoor and outdoor, comfort and discomfort, portraiture and still-life.