Rayograph (The Kiss) 1922
Man Rays Rayographs, also known to us as photograms, are images made on photographic paper without the use of a camera. The technique involved doing multiple exposures using different objects as stencils to create different shades which creates layers of darkened photographic paper where exposure has happened.
The Rayograph which shows two forms embracing exists in a space which can not be related to reality, it is between abstraction and representational art. Man Ray was part of the Dada movement and this work stands out like the Dada poems creating something which is scrambled and impossible to interpret within the space. John Szarkowski mentions “It is impossible to say which planes of the picture are to be interpreted as existing closer or deeper in space. The picture is a visual invention: an image without a real-life model to which we can compare it.” The work breaks away from the domination of reason and tradition going towards a dreamlike image.