Posts Tagged ‘lima’

Happy Days in the new quarters of the periphery of Lima by Max Cabello Orcasitas of Supayfoto

August 1, 2013
Max Cabello

Max Cabello

Max Cabello

Max Cabello

Max Cabello

Max Cabello

Via the Photographic Museum of Humanity, an online site that features documentary work from around the world, I discovered the photo essay, Happy Days in the new quarters of the periphery of Lima by Peruvian photographer Max Cabello.

The series depicts birthday parties and celebrations in the poor slums surrounding the city. The photographs depict a situation that is both tender and pathetic. Peru’s recent economic growth has allowed its citizens to enjoy some of the fruits of consumerism but it comes in the form of  glitter and pink styrofoam instead of roads, schools, parks and good jobs. I like how the series humanizes the slums, rather than presenting it as a cool spectacle a la Thomas Struth.

Cabello is part of the photographic colective Supayfotos which I blogged about last year for a series of theirs about Iquitos.

Advertisements

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.

Miscelánea (todo se queda en casa)

March 31, 2012

The most diverse exhibit I’ve seen so far in the Lima Photography Biennial has been the show, Miscelánea (todo se queda en casa). The show was organized by curator and critic Jorge Villacorta. He inviated 30 odd artists to create works that would be shown in a 1940s mansion in the swanky neighborhood of San Isidro that will soon be demolished to make way for an apartment tower. A lot of the works deal in various ways with nostalgia, the past, and the architecture of the site.

Casa Inmobiliari

The show is being sponsored by the real estate developer of the property. The crazy zebra design on the house’s exterior is actually their’s, and not one of the works of art. Presumably they feel this design will make the house (which they are using as a sales office prior to the commencement of construction) more visible but, isn’t the point of zebra stripping meant to be a form of camoflage?

Interior hall

Entering the house you come into a large, light filled hall dominated by a large boat-like structure. While this show is technically part of the photography biennial, many, if not most, of the works are mixed media or have nothing to do with photography (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

Bathroom

As you wander through the house, every nook and cranny of the sprawling masnion is filled with art, including the bathrooms and closets. It made visiting feel a bit like a treasure hunt. I combed through each floor, making sure I didn’t miss anything.

Art in the closet

One of the rooms was darkened and had various projectors showing family vacation slides from several decades past. I liked how the vintage photos looked on the vintage (and highly textured) wall paper. That’s my hand shadow there in the picture:

Slide projection

This one room had cyanotypes on the wall.

Cyanotypes

They also had various objects scattered on the floor, also blue:

blue objects on the floor

dyptich by Flavia Gandolfo

I really liked these pictures by Flavia Gandolfo wherein she doodles a small, subtle element in the second of otherwise identical pictures. The picture on the right has a couple of race cars in the oncoming lanes.

I wish I could identify more of the artists in the show. Nothing was labeled. Instead, there was an architectural layout plan that was available at the entrance. I was a bit confused by it and only realized after I left the show that my flyer only had the first floor.

Arts website limagris made a walk-through video the night of the opening. It’s a good way to see the space as well as some more art, including some giant photos of naked women that were pasted on the bottom of the outdoor swimming pool.

Sujeto de Derecho

March 28, 2012

El Comercio is Peru’s main (only) broadsheet newspaper. They are participating in Lima’s Photography Biennial with a show of high minded photojournalism called Sujeto de Derecho (the name means something like “legal person” but there’s probably a second meaning that I’m missing). The show collects various photo essays by current and former photographers for the paper that deal with disadvantaged people struggling (and succeeding) to make a better life for themselves. I’m very jealous of photojournalists in Perú because they get to take pictures in such a visually spectacular country.

Sujeto de Derecho at Casa Rimac

The show is being held at the Casa Rimac in downtown Lima. It looks like an old bank building. The lobby is filled with huge hanging prints by Karen Zárate about a project building a resevoir for herders to water their fields of grass so that their cows can graze and produce milk year round. I felt like the ginormous prints cluttered the space and were a little pretentious but you have got to hand it to paper for going big. The rest of the show meanders through the ground floor of the building with different rooms showcasing the various essays.

La maloca de Babel by Leslie Searles

I was interested in this story by Leslie Searles about a center for indigenous university students in Iquitos that takes the shape of a traditional shelter called a maloca. Here’s a video for the story.

The best part of the show was the flyer. El Comercio, being a newspaper, printed up an insert with all of the stories. They look great–maybe even better than they do on the wall. This is not a dig since this is photojournalism. These photos belong on newsprint.

Newspaper insert for the show (I still have flip-flop tan lines from my two months in the jungle)

Sujeto de Derecho, Pascuala y el Pozo de Agua by Karen Zarate

Sujeto de Derecho, Los Ojos de Parán by Rolly Reyna

The show and insert are sort of the ideal world for photojournalism. All the stories are uplifting and visually compelling. There’s no boring press conferences, celebrity gossip or crass advertising. The show affirms the talent of the paper’s photographers. I wish these essays were on El Comercio’s website (they have an inactive blog of photo essays, Mírate, which hasn’t been updated since Sept. 2010). It would at least make my life easier as a blogger. Here’s a list of all the participating photographers with their website, where I could find one: Karen Zárate, Antonio Escalante (Cerro Cachito), Sergio Urday, Juan Ponce, Ana Cecilia Gonzáles Vigil, Dante Piaggio, Polly Reyna, Sebastián Castañeda, Giancarlo Shibayama, Musuk Nolte, Leslie Searles, Daniel Silva, Enrique Cuneo, Miguel Bellido and Richard Hirano.

Daniel Pajuelo – La calle es el cielo

March 23, 2012

Upstairs from El Incidente at Casa O’Higgins is another fantastic exhibit of photos by Daniel Pajuelo. It’s titled “La calle es el cielo,” which I’ll translate as “Heaven on the Streets.” Pajuelo was a photojournalist in Lima in the 80s and 90s and his gritty black & white photos capture a time when the city was suffering from multiple crisis of hyperinflation, terrorism, political instability, and runaway urban growth.

Daniel Pajuelo - La calle es el cielo

There’s a large hall with blow-ups of his photos hanging on wires.

Daniel Pajuelo - La calle es el cielo

Daniel Pajuelo - La calle es el cielo

Then there are several other rooms each with a couple of dozen prints.

Daniel Pajuelo - La calle es el cielo

Daniel Pajuelo - La calle es el cielo

My picture of the picture isn’t good but the prints in the show are fanstastic. They’re really high quality ink jets which look to have been done specifically for this show. As Pajuelo, I’m guessing, was out on the streets hunting for photos, rather than stuck in the darkroom perfecting his printing technique. I’ve been to a lot of shows where print quality is skimped on (paper, ink, glass, frames are expensive!). It’s really great to see that they went all out for this show. It’s a great way to honor the photographer and really brings his work to life.

A display case shows some of Pajuelo’s personal effects:

Pajuelo's personal items

Let’s see: press passes, leather jacket, Rollei 35… is there much more one needs in life?

Pajuelo passed away in 2000 at the young age of 37. A final room in the show display photos from his nights out on Lima’s rock scene. A text in the room notes, “A rock photographer is not the same thing as a photographer who rocks…”

Daniel Pajuelo - La calle es el cielo

Daniel Pajuelo - La calle es el cielo

El Incidente – 1940s Street Photography in Lima

March 21, 2012

Another fascinating exhibit right now as part of Lima’s Photography Biennial is a show called El Incidente. In it, the curator shows snapshots taken in Lima from the 1940s to the 1960s by street photographers working for local photo studios.

El Incidente

The game/business worked as follows; a guy working for some photo studio would snap a photo, typically without permission, and then ask the person if they would like to pay for a copy. If the answer was yes, someone from the studio, or the photographer himself would go the next day to the person’s house and deliver the photo.

As a type of vernacular photography I find it fascinating that something like this ever existed. It could only exist in a city that was big enough to be anonymous but not so large as to be dangerous and chaotic, as Lima was soon to become. The photos themselves are don’t break ground aesthetically. There were no Winogrands or Friedlanders lurking in Lima in the 1950s (at least not in this show). Still, the photos offer a fascinating glimpse of  a society and city in transtion.

El Incidente at Casa O'Higgins

El Incidente at Casa O'Higgins

The mounting of the show is fantastic. It’s housed on the ground floor of the gorgeous, restored 19th Century home of Chilean independence leader Bernardo O’Higgins.

El Incidente in Casa O'Higgins

The front room has large blow-ups of some of the photos next to small displays of the original photos themselves. In the back is a giant table with hundreds of photos on display under glass.

El Incidente at Casa O'Higgins

The curator, Daniel Contreras, collected these photo albums himself at various flea markets over the last several years. It wasn’t clear to me if these photos came from the customers or if the photographers themselves kept their own albums. In any event, the show does a masterful job of bringing this genre to life. A display case at the entrance shows a jumble of decaying albums from which some of the photos in the exhibit came.

El Incidente at Casa O'Higgins

As a type or genre of photography, this is totally new to me and fascinating too. I wonder if other cities in other or in other time periods something like this has existed.

My two favorite shows of the biennial so far, this one and Memorias Visuales, both deal with different expressions of vernacular photography in Peru. Both in their own way, as exhibits, do fantastic jobs of bringing to life an era as well as a genre of photography.