Posts Tagged ‘gaby messina’

6×6 Magic

August 26, 2010

I’ve noticed a trend with a lot of photography here in Argentina:

© Guillermo Ueno

© Nacho Coló

© Ignacio Iasparra

© Florencia Blanco

Verano Porteño by Eduardo Carrera

Bride by Gaby Messina from the series Lima, KM 100

Esquina by Norberto Salerno, photograph taken with Walzflex TLR with slide film expired in 2000

© Alina Schwarcz, from series Tigre

From Olaguer 3006 © Vivi Abelson

© Emma Livingston

© Alessandra Sanguinetti

© Soledad Manrique

© Guadalupe Miles

© María José D'amico

Let me be upfront and state that I’m not a fan of the square format. There is a preciousness and nostalgia about it that turns me off.

Why all the 6×6 photos in Argentina? Given the high cost of film and cameras here, using medium format seems to convey a level of seriousness that 35mm or digital don’t. Using the 6×6 format is an easy way of calling attention to one’s seriousness, be it with a Hasselblad or a Holga.

I like all of the photos and photographers that I’m posting here. I don’t mean to criticize their work or their choice of using the 6×6 format. There are legitimate artistic reasons for choosing to shoot square format. I should also state that in declaring my general dislike of the square I’m being completely hypocritical, having made any number of square photographs myself.

This trend isn’t limited to Argentina. There’s a group on flickr called 6×6 magic with almost 200,000 photos posted to it. There are enough film borders, soft corners, dreamy black & white landscapes, and desaturated colors to last a lifetime. Need I mention that there’s no “6×7 magic” group?

Gaby Messina – Lima, KM 100

June 2, 2010

I missed the recent show Lima, KM 100 by Gaby Messina of her over-the-top portraits from a small town called Lima located 100km from Buenos Aires.

Bride by Gaby Messina from the series Lima, KM 100

Hairdressers by Gaby Messina, from the series Lima, KM 100

Gaucho by Gaby Messina, from the series Lima, KM 100

My favorites from the series are the simplest, most direct photos that just show the town’s inhabitants in their homes, places of work, or on the street. Most of the photos in the series ramp up the absurdity considerably. In the text Messina describes her working process:

I visited Lima every week for two years. At the beginning, I was received with skepticism and at the time there was nothing I could do to change that…. However, they started to know me little by little and vice versa. Some of my pictures started going around the town and the good sense of humor of the people made them want to participate on my project, every time more and more…

There’s a book available on the project. Messina also has on her website a couple of other projects, Grandes Mujeres, showing elderly women looking fabulous and Alma Gemelas, featuring portraits of twins.