Posts Tagged ‘argentina’

Esteban Pastorino – The Architecture of Francisco Salamone

August 28, 2013
Cemetery, Laprida

Cemetery, Laprida

Townhall, Rauch

Townhall, Rauch

Slaughterhouse, Guamini

Slaughterhouse, Guamini

Via the Cord Prize I had the chance to re-see Esteban Pastorino‘s series on the architecture of Francisco Salamone. The photos depict fantastical art-deco structures that were built in small towns of the southern part of Buenos Aires province in Argentina between 1936 and 1940. They were part of a program by the then-governor to construct city halls, cemeteries and slaughterhouses (only in Argentina!). A change of government ended the program and Salamone constructed very little for the remainder of his life.

Pastorino’s photos depict the strange buildings at night, weirdly lit and in isolation. They seem to belong not to just another time but to another planet. The jpegs on the Cord site are nice but the prints are an event to see in person. They are large gum-bichromate prints on heavily textured paper and have a dramatic presence. Interestingly, the images of the series on Pastorino’s website show the texture and it’s interesting to compare the jpegs with those from the Cord site. While showing the texture, these jpegs don’t really manage to capture the presence the prints have in person.

Cemetery, Laprida

Cemetery, Laprida

Slaughterhouse, Guamini

Slaughterhouse, Guamini

Pastorino is a total bad-ass with a bunch of interesting projects. He often constructs his own cameras and puts them to use in making photos that have a conceptual resonance with his invented cameras. In other words, it’s not just masturbatory gear-geekiness. As if to drive home the point, the top page on his website displays a certificate for a Guiness Book of World Records for the longest panoramic photo. How many photographers have a Guiness World Record?

Demolición. Three Argentine Photographers

November 14, 2012

Marcos López, Tía Delia, Santa Fé, 1992

There is a current show up in Buenos Aires called, Demolición. En pos de una fotografía ¿argentina? It features three Argentine photographers, Alberto Goldenstein, Marcos Lopez, and Ataulfo Perez Aznar and was the brainchild of Guillermo Ueno whose class I took a few years ago at the Centro Cultural Rojas.

I post about this show mostly because I came across a post on the blog, RƎV: Imagenes de Arte Contemporanea en Argentina which shows a very good selection of installation shots of the show. The blog is written by the indomintable Gabriela Schevach, artist, photographer and writer. I will definitely be adding it to my blog reader (does anyone use those anymore?).

Mata Matayoshi & Ofuro

October 29, 2012

Recently I got an email flyer for a small exhibit in Buenos Aires that advertised photos, music and empanadas. Boy, did I feel nostalgic. The show in question was Te Toca Lavar, by photographers Mata Matayoshi and Victoria Abalde, friends of mine from when I lived in Argentina. Mata runs an excellent film scanning service called Ofuro that I’ve used and will do so again the next time I’m down there. There’s a group on facebook, where Mata uploads scans of his own photos as well as those of his clients:

Mata Matayoshi

 

Mata Matayoshi

Mata Matayoshi

Mata Matayoshi

 

 

Myriam Meloni – Genealogy of a fallen tree

June 11, 2012

Myriam Meloni is an Italian photojournalist based in Buenos Aires. We took a class together back in 2009 and would laugh at the over-the-top pronouncements of our (nevertheless, very good) professor. Since then I’ve been following her work and enjoying what I see. I recently saw that she updated her website and discovered a series I like a lot; Genealogy of a fallen tree, which looks at the effects of deforestation on the indigenous population in Argentina’s northern Chaco region.

© Myriam Meloni

© Myriam Meloni

© Myriam Meloni

© Myriam Meloni

Mariano Brizzola

June 6, 2012

Severral of my photo-friends in Buenos Aires good me hooked on this Facebook group called Solo Analogas which is Spanish for “Film Only” (roughly speaking). Through the group, I recently discovered the work of Argentine Mariano Brizzola. Working with a 35mm camera, Brizzola’s pictures have a nostalgic feel. I’m not sure you could get away with this in the US anymore, but Argentina (and even more so, Uruguay) really still looks like this.

© Mariano Brizzola

© Mariano Brizzola

© Mariano Brizzola

© Mariano Brizzola

Brizzola’s website redirects to his flickr page, which somehow seems appropriate. He eschews the modern obsession of organizing his photos into “projects”. Each one is its own, delightful, thing. Also check out this interview (in Spanish) on the Uruguayan website AKA.

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.

Bruno Dubner at MAMBA (Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires)

December 31, 2011

A last post for 2011 and maybe a last post from Argentina for awhile as I’m now traveling in Chile and soon to head to Peru again. On my penultimate day in Buenos Aires I visted a small show of photographs by Bruno Dubner at the MAMBA [great name]. The work is called Ajeno, which means foreign, distinct or alien. The show consists of a long line of about 30 photographs of sidewalk views, looking down and to the side, usually depicting different sorts of entry ways in the more urbanized neighborhoods of Buenos Aires.

Ajeno - Bruno Dubner

Bruno Dubner - Ajeno

There’s a brochure with a long, fancy text that’s beyond my skills in Spanish and, probably, my English too, if it were translated. Beyond the conceptual conceit of the work, I appreciate the photos for evoking the urban skin of Buenos Aires. The photos themselves are simple and unpretentious, shot with a 35mm camera and printed small but lusciously [C-prints!]. There’s an overall chromatic harmony within the work and an obsessive attention to certain details, like the near total exclusion of litter, graffiti, or any sort of text–something that becomes clear when viewing the full series. Unfortunately the work isn’t on Dubner’s site just yet [although do check it out as he’s got some other interesting work].

The installation of the show is also nicely done, echoing the composition of the photographs themselves.

Bruno Dubner at MAMBA

I totally stole all these photos from a post on the website Juanele, about this show. I’d go over and read that as well because the writer, Gabriela Schevach, delves more into the conceptual elements of the work and knows her stuff!

2011 in Review

December 27, 2011

I spent a lot of 2011 traveling, being a bit of a vagabond in different places.

During January, February and half of March I was in Colombia. I discovered fantastic artists and took a ton of pictures, none of which have been properly scanned. The negatives have been sitting with a friend in New York since late March. Eventually, I’ll get to them.

3 guys in Bosa, Bogotá, February 2011

After Colombia, I went to the Peruvian Amazonian city of Iquitos. I spent just over a month there photographing people and places. I’m pretty happy with the work I did so far there and, in fact, I’m planning on going back there in just a few weeks. I’ve been sitting on the photos because I’m not sure what direction the work will ultimately take. Here’s a few pictures that I’ve uploaded to flickr so far:

Iquitos, Peru

Iquitos, Peru

Diego in Iquitos, Peru

I returned to Buenos Aires in late May, mostly to finish my Ochava Solstice project. I was a lot more methodical this year (see post), and set myself a goal of 50 street corners for the whole series.

Preparing to photograph a corner for my Ochava Solstice project

In the end I think I got about 60-something corners, which I then edited down to 49. I even published a little dummy book on blurb, which is really cool to have and to hold.

Ochava Solstice dummy book

Meanwhile I continued to work on another series, Riverbank | Barranca, which I started in 2010 and published on my site this year. It was just featured on the blog, New Landscape Photography.

Riverbank | Barranca

I also continued to add slowly to my collection of Chalets and Contrafrente views.

Since last year I’ve been thinking about pursuing an MFA. While the classes and workshops I have been doing in Argentina have been great, I’ve been feeling that I’d be well-served by spending a couple of years of intense study in North America. To that end, I was just on a six week road trip in the US visiting schools. I covered 8000 miles in just under a month, driving from LA to Boston and back again. I’d like to say it was epic but traveling in the US is kinda easy. There were days when I woke up at dawn and drove for 12 or 13 hours straight, subsisting on junk food, podcasts and 5-hour energy drinks. Those days were my favorites.

West Texas

I’m super-excited about 2012; the travels that I have coming up and the mystery about where I will end-up come August.

Nuna Mangiante

December 18, 2011

© Nuna Mangiante

Nuna Mangiante is an artist who primarily works with graphite. Her works that I’ve seen in person are large, abstract drawings where areas of shape are indicated by density and direction of the stroke of her hand. They remind me a bit of Ad Reinhardt’s abstract paintings and, like Reinhardt’s, work, are utterly impossible to appreciate except in the first person.

I suppose it’s fitting then, that I can’t find any examples of these works on Mangiante’s site or anywhere on the web. Her website does, however, have some interesting examples of her work. The series El Corral deLito shows bank facades in the aftermath of the 2001 economic crisis. The title is a play on the local term for frozen accounts, which is what the government did to depositors. For months afterward, angry protesters descended on the banks in downtown, demanding their money back. The banks put up metal barriers, which are precisely the parts that Mangiante has drawn over, leaving only the abstract pattern of her work and the original details of the buildings’ architecture.

© Nuna Mangiante

© Nuna Mangiante

© Nuna Mangiante

Her website also has a selection of installation works. If they weren’t already designated as installations, I could easily believe, by looking at the images online, that they were more drawn-over photographs, which I think is cool

© Nuna Mangiante

Riverbank | Barranca

December 8, 2011

These are captions for Riverbank | Barranca. The photos in the series are ordered geographically, from north to south, beginning at the northern city limits of Buenos Aires [Capital Federal] and ending in Parque Lezama in the southern part of the city.

Avenida General Paz

Police randomly stop cars as they cross the city limits. The city and suburbs of Buenos Aires are two different administrative entities, with different police forces. Unlike cities in North America, South American cities tend to have poverty and crime concentrated on the periphery of the city. The checkpoints are a mostly theatrical effort to calm the the city’s wealthier residents.

Monobloc on Calle Grecia

A large apartment complex built in the 1970s. Such buildings are often referred to as ‘monoblocs.’

Botanical Garden

French-born landscape designer Carlos Thays designed Buenos Aires’ botanical gardens as well as many other parks during the boom years of the late 19th century. Today the garden is home to a large feral cat population.

National Library

Argentina’s national library is constructed on the grounds of a former 19th century mansion that was used as the residence of Juan Perón while he was president and which was then demolished following his ouster by the military in 1955. Designed in 1961 in a brutalist style by one of the country’s most prominent architects, the library wasn’t completed until 1992, due to construction delays exacerbated by changes in government and economic crisis.

Red Balloons

Production assistants attach red balloons to a tree for the filming of a commercial.

Student's Day

September 21st, the first day of spring in the southern hemisphere, is Student’s Day. Adolescents from across the metropolitan region flock to the city’s parks.

Arts & Crafts fair in Recoleta

On weekends the walkways of Plaza Francia in Recoleta are taken over by arts & crafts vendors. While a long standing tradition, the size of the fair increased greatly following the economic crisis of 2001. Many of the vendors use the sales to supplement income from their day jobs.

Trapito

Organized syndicates monetize public parking spaces in busy areas by setting up protection rackets. The lowest members of these syndicates work the street, charging drivers a fee for looking after their cars. Such men are know as “trapitos” or “little rags” for the rags they wave in their hands to attract the attention of drivers to an open spot.

Shell station below Autopista Arturo Illia

Argentina hosted the World Cup in 1978. It was accompanied by a massive public works effort by the then-military government that saw the construction of elevated highways across the city. Such works were often funded with loans from the World Bank as well as New York financial institutions flush with petro-dollars.

Plaza San Martin

Plaza San Martin is one of several parks that uses the topography of the riverbank to create a grassy knoll. The gentle slope makes a lovely spot for an afternoon nap between shifts.

War Monument

Plaza San Martin is also the site of a monument honoring Argentine soldiers killed in the 1982 conflict over the Falkland [Malvinas] Islands. The war killed about 650 Argentine soldiers and about 250 British. Argentina was unsuccessful in asserting its territorial claim over the islands.

The Kavanagh Building

Edificio Kavanagh, seen in a fragment on the right, is the finest art deco skyscraper in Buenos Aires and, perhaps, the world.

IBM Tower

Sitting at the foot of Marcelo T. de Alvear and Leandro Alem, the IBM Tower houses the local operations of said company. IBM was embroiled in a bribery scandal involving government contracts in the 1990s during the presidency of Carlos Menem.

Edificio Alas

Dating from the 1950s, the Alas building, seen in the background, contains an anti-nuclear bunker built to the specifications of the then president, Juan Domingo Perón.

Jousten Hotel, Avenida Corrientes

Though less important than soy bean exports, tourism has become one of Argentina’s principal sources of foreign currency.

Casa Rosada

The seat of government, the Casa Rosada is said to have originally taken its pink color from cow’s blood mixed in with the paint.

Economy Ministry

In 1955, Argentina’s air force dropped bombs on the Plaza de Mayo, the country’s principal square and home to the seat of government, in an effort to unseat the elected president, Juan Perón. About 300 people were killed and the façade of the Economy ministry still bears the scars from the bombardment.

Paseo Colon & Alsina

The graffiti which reads “Nestor Vive” refers to the deceased ex-president, Nestor Kirchner, who was president from 2003 to 2007, a time in which Argentina was recovering from a severe economic crisis in 2001. His wife, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, is the current president, having been reelected in 2011 to a second term.

The other graffiti, “Macri = Facho” refers to Mauricio Macri, who is the mayor of Buenos Aires and a member of the opposition. ‘Facho’ is a local slang word meaning ‘fascist.’

Paseo Colon, pintada política

Public buildings and walls are often covered in white wash upon which are written names or slogans of political candidates and parties. Known as pintada política, it is a street-based, graphical tradition in Argentina, with each party and faction having its own, unique style.

Club Atlético

The military junta that ruled Argentina from 1976 to 1983 murdered about 30,000 of its own citizens. Various buildings were used as interrogation and torture centers prior to shooting the victims or tossing them out of airplanes. This area, at the intersection of Avenida San Juan and Paseo Colón, was one such center. It was known as Club Atlético although it was subsequently demolished to make way for one of the aforementioned elevated highways.

McDonald's

There are nearly 200 McDonald’s locations in Argentina, including this one just south of Parque Lezama in the neighborhood of Barracas.

Parque Lezama

Located in the southern part of the city, Parque Lezama is believed to be the site of the original founding of the city in 1536. The first settlement, however, was abandoned after 5 years due to attacks from the indigenous population.