Archive for April, 2012

FOLI – Museo de Fotografia de Lima

April 10, 2012

There’s a lot going on these days with photography in Lima. There will soon be a museum dedicated to photography in the city, FOLI (Museo de Fotografia de Lima). They don’t have a permanent home yet but they are very active in public outreach activities. For the last three weeks they’ve set up four shipping containers in a  busy park and organized various activities around the site.

FOLI set-up in Parque Kennedy in Miraflores

FOLI set-up in Parque Kennedy in Miraflores

Exhibit by Alinka Echeverria

As part of the installation there was an exhibit of work, The Road to Tepeyac by Alinka Echeverria, showing religious pilgrims in Mexico. A shipping container does not make a great exhibit space but I will say that a ton of people saw this exhibit by dint of being in a heavily trafficked park. Apart from the exhibit, there were lots of ongoing activities, the nicest of which were outdoor, evening slide shows (Lima’s late summer climate being perfect for outdoor stuff in the evening).

FOLI’s facebook page has more photos of the installation and ongoing updates about their activities.

Here’s a video from Lensculture about FOLI

Walterio Iraheta & The Architecture of Remittances

April 9, 2012

The Spanish cultural center in Lima is hosting a show about the architecture of Remittances (Arquitectura de Remesas). Organized by El Salvadoran artist Walterio Iraheta, the show features photographs of houses in Central America built with money sent home by relatives working in the United States.

Arquitectura de Remesas

This project looks at  9 different communities, three each in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, with large emmigrant populations and the houses built with money sent home. The project seems to be an outgrowth of Iraheta’s series, Farway Brother Style, with there being a lot of overlap in both.

The houses mostly seem to follow local contemporary vernacular styles (with the volume turned up to 11), although there are several houses that look as if plucked out of some Southern California subdivision, suggesting a difussion of style (the pseudo-spanish inflections of California residential arquitecture is a topic that will be left for another post).

Southern California style house in Arquitectura de Remesas

There is a certain off-the-shelf quality to the photos. They are OK but clearly subservient to the broader idea of the exhibit and the social phenomena of Central American migration to the United States. They lack beauty of say, Eduardo Del Valle and Mirta Gomez’s series From the Ground Up, on houses in the Yucatan (a 20+ year project). Still, I love these sorts of projects.

Most fascinating for me was this panorama of San Mateo Ixtatán in Guatemala. It, literally, moves beyond the individual houses and shows the broader context of these houses within their communities.

Panorama of San Mateo Ixtatán (click to embiggen, it's a really cool image)

Looking at the above photo, I was reminded of San Gimignano with its medieval towers (a result of similar dynamics of new wealth and social status being reflected architecturally).

San Gimignano

 

Feria de Libros in Lima

April 5, 2012

The same Feria de Libros that I blogged about last year came to Lima a couple of weeks ago as part of the ongoing Photography Biennial. The feria, which is run by Argentine artist Julieta Escardó, features small, independently published books, mostly from photographers in Argentina, although this edition included several books by Peruvian photographers.

Feria de Libros in Lima

Feria de Libros in Lima

The fair was held at the Centro de la Imagen. Unlike the version in Buenos Aires, here, none of the books were for sale. It was a bit like an Alexandrian library only, instead of copying scrolls of papayrus, I sat there with my digital camera snapping photos of pages from books that I liked.

Here’s a few:

Epitafios by Gladys Alavardo Jourde

Epitafios by Gladys Alavardo Jourde was my favorite book. It documents various decaying buildings from the 19th century and before in Lima’s historic core.

Epitafios by Gladys Alavardo Jourde

Epitafios by Gladys Alavardo Jourde

Epitafios by Gladys Alavardo Jourde

Epitafios by Gladys Alavardo Jourde

Epitafios by Gladys Alavardo Jourde

Something that I find interesting about both Lima and Buenos Aires is that each, with over a third of their respective countrys’ population, dominate all aspects industry, culture, politics and finance. It’s like each city is New York, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Washington all rolled into one. Depending on where you go  you can find elements that resonate with each. In the case of Lima, new development has shunned the historic core and a bounce-back wave of gentrification has yet to occur. In this situation, there’s a huge number of historic buildings which sit in a rather shabby state. Alvarado’s book does an execellent job of documenting both the beauty of these spaces, their inhabitants, and the tragedy of their decay. Also, the book dummy on view was really wonderfully printed. I hope it gets published.

Lucila Heinberg’s (Argentina) book Hacia recounts her journey in through China. Using expired film, the photos show a very personal, intimate view of her experiences in China.

Lucila Heinberg - Hacia

Lucila Heinberg - Hacia

Lucila Heinberg - Hacia

Lucila Heinberg - Hacia

Galeria Centrico has a small online gallery of this work. I also blogged about Heinberg’s series Dormidos last year.

David Mansell-Moullin’s book Lines in the Sand looks at peripheral settlements in Lima and how they sit on the landscape.

David Mansell-Moullin - Lines in the Sand

David Mansell-Moullin - Lines in the Sand

The subject matter is similar to Musuk Note’s Decierto series which I blogged about recently but is less abstract, more into the nuts and bolts of how these plots of land get developed by their inhabitants. Mansell-Moullin’s website has a nice slideshow of the work and he’s also got a blog detailing a lot of his work process.

Futuramic by Aldo Paparella (great name!) features lucious black and white photographs of retro-futuristic automobiles from the 1950s.

Aldo Paparella - Futuramic

Aldo Paparella - Futuramic

I got really excited to see that Martin Weber’s Ecos del Interior has been published by Ediciones Lariviere. I hope this makes it to the US so I can get a copy.

Martin Weber - Ecos del Interior

Italian photojournalist Myriam Meloni has a book, Fragil, documenting the social decay resulting from paco use in Buenos Aires (paco is their version of crack).

Myriam Meloni - Fragil

Myriam Meloni - Fragil

Myriam Meloni - Fragil

There sems to be a whole sub-genre of photographers documenting their grandparent’s homes. I suppose the combination of nostalgia + access is irrisistible. By my count, there were four books dealing with this theme at the book fair, the nicest of which was Bulnes by Luciana Betesh.

Luciana Betesh - Bulnes

Luciana Betesh - Bulnes

Luciana Betesh - Bulnes

There were a ton more books, of course. It’s a great fair and my only complaint is that it isn’t held more often and in more places.