Archive for May, 2011

Luciana Lamothe

May 29, 2011

I’m back in Buenos Aires and visiting various gallery and exhibition spaces. I passed by the Itau Cultural Center, a small space in a prominent location [9 de Julio and Viamonte]. Some photographs by Luciana Lamothe caught my eye.

© Luciana Lamothe

© Luciana Lamothe

Lamothe photographed strangers on the street while using a mirror to reflect the sun’s rays into her subject’s faces.

I occasionally follow debates about the legality and ethics surrounding street photography. For the record I’m firmly on the side of the rights of the photographer. The right to privacy in public space is oxymoronic. Lamothe’s approach seems to be of “the best defense is a good offense” strategy. Rather than stick up for the rights of photographers, her art is a big fuck you to the public, and I love the photos for that.

Lamothe is more of the “artist who uses photography” variety [not that there’s anything wrong with that]. She documents various actions involving petty, symbolic vandalism in public spaces.

Removing security guard stickers © Luciana Lamothe

The stickers were then placed on the artist's refrigerator © Luciana Lamothe

Perforated sachet of yougurt in the soap section of a supermarket © Luciana Lamothe

She’s like the rebellious teenage child of Gabriel Orozco. The mix of suggested violence and ingenuity is really endearing.

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Thomas Spencer Ladd – Ecuador

May 25, 2011

I found Thomas Spencer Ladd’s photographs via Conscientious. I usually don’t link to stuff I find via other blogs but I decided to break that rule for this post because I really like Ladd’s photographs.

Los Paramos, No. 42. El Angel, Ecuador. 11,864ft.

The series Los Páramos documents the cold Andean highlands of Ecuador, places above 3500m in elevation. On his website, each of the photos lists the location, date, time, temperature, humidity and altitude. I like this precision of information, especially the altitude. In tropical regions altitude, not season is the main determinant of climate and vegetation. In a few hours you can go from summer to winter. It seems natural to include this information as part of the context of the photo.

Los Paramos, No. 180. Reserva Ecologica Cotacachi Ca Xup. 12,864ft.

Los Paramos, No. 47. Cotapaxi, Ecuador. 12,724ft.

I emailed Ladd and he explained that this series is just the beginning of a long term project intending to document the fragile ecology of the páramos from Venezuela to Peru.

Descending a little lower in elevation is another series, Cloud Forest Gardens, which shows small, sustainable farming communities.

Cloud Forest Gardens, No. 37. Flores Family Garden, Pucará, Ecuador. 6,470ft.

Cloud Forest Gardens, No. 195. Ventancourt family garden, Pucará, Ecuador. 6,608ft.

Cloud Forest Gardens, No. 57. Ramos and Rosero family garden, Peribula, Ecuador. 8,125ft.

Ladd sent me a statement from an exihibit of this work in which he explains his interested in small farming communities.

My questions about land usage and gardening practices lead to poverty farming within the Andean Communities of South America. I became particularly aware of the importance of mountain agriculture in areas of the world with great biodiversity such as the Intag region in Imbabura Ecuador.

While in Ecuador, I was helped by a very knowledgeable and generous gringo living and working with small communties near his home in Cotacachi. These photographs are the result of my travels with Peter Shear, who took me to remote places where families practice sustainable agriculture within regions of great biodiversity.

Peter Shear runs an organization called The Inter-American Center for the Arts, Sustainabilty, and Action.

Roberto Huarcaya

May 19, 2011

Roberto Huarcaya is a Peruvian photographer who has exhibited widely in the last couple of decades. His website isn’t great but I was interested in some recent work which recreates renaissance paintings using various Peruvian cities as a backdrop.

Frecia y Fany, Iquitos, 2010 - Roberto Huarcaya

Mary y Mauro, Lima, 2010 - Roberto Huarcaya

Huarcaya also won last year’s Premio Petrobras that is awarded in conjunction with the annual photography festival in Buenos Aires (which is how I first became familiar with his work). Here is the winning image, altho the panoramic format doesn’t lend itself to this blog. The image, taken from a pier, shows a beach in Lima, half public and half private, very literally demostrating the stratification of society.

Playa Publica / playa privada, 2009 - Roberto Huarcaya