MONØkult Feature: Ria Torrente

Becoming, Transforming, and Arriving at Epiphanies

Ria Kristina Torrente
Feb 24 · 4 min read

I will not be narrating how I started with photography, when I first picked up the camera or what kind of photographer I wanted to be before I arrived at where I am now in my practice and how it became instrumental in knowing myself better.

All I am aware of since I was young is that I want to become an artist and be able to freely express myself. But I was always never confident at expressing myself and with my decisions even when I was pursuing my other dream of becoming a writer or a poet.

While photography only served as a hobby and a fad for me back then which I thought I would eventually outgrow, it mainly became the medium I’ve chosen to wield along with words.

It has melded into my whole life in general when I finally decided to, quote-unquote, ‘become’ a photographer. Becoming is a metaphysical process, you don’t instantly ‘become’ someone or build your identity without considering transformation.

In my case, I’ve learned to embrace my complexities and contradictions; to express my truth and vulnerabilities; and to navigate life and its beautiful and painful rewards.

These are the subjects I try to explore over the years of finding my voice and intention in a visual manner. I want to understand more than to be understood, to become self-aware and maybe affect others to find their means to process life’s intricacies through my photographs.

Image for post
Image for post
Solitary Nature, 2017

My self-imposed exile, leaving everything behind and going to an unfamiliar place, has helped me appreciate what I have in life. It’s a cliché but while I’m continuously honing my skills in a foreign country as a hired commercial photographer, the recurring images I capture in my personal practice on the other hand — abandoned spaces, desolate landscapes and unoccupied expanses — knowingly unfolded into my fascination with solitude.

It resonates with my fears, anxieties, rejections, loneliness and dreams. I am able to keep moving forward and still exist because these manic emotions found their form through images and words. The practice itself has become a meditative exploration of my perpetual desire for self-transformation.

Beyond these deserted spaces, I already have a clear view of what’s next with my visual narratives. My two ongoing series, Absentia and Return to Form, are observation and analysis of spirituality and existence.

However, I am still in the process of exploring other photographic techniques and media beyond digital means. These are considerations I think of these days not only to try a different approach but as well as a part of improving my visual expression. These are what I consider as lifetime visual projects that I want in itself to unfold fluidly and organically.

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Absentia
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Return to Form

While I am completely aware where my journey with photography is at the moment, I never want to arrive at a destination because I never really know where I’m going.

Maybe death, in a literal and metaphorical sense, is the most obvious end after pondering so much about existence and how I can visually represent it. But for now, I’ll just hang around and explore or continue starting new journeys every time my images result in epiphanies.


Editor’s Note: As a contributor to MONØMANIA, Ria Torrente (Website, Instagram) dissects the lesser known monochrome photography of the Middle East, with particular highlight to Bahrain, where she currently works for a living. Stay tuned for her next stories on the MONØkult section.

Ria Kristina Torrente

Written by

is always in a state of constant departure. I am a photographer and writer currently based in Bahrain. https://www.riatorrente.format.com

MONØMANIA

For the Love of Black & White

Ria Kristina Torrente

Written by

is always in a state of constant departure. I am a photographer and writer currently based in Bahrain. https://www.riatorrente.format.com

MONØMANIA

For the Love of Black & White

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch

Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore

Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store