The photographer, director of the International Festival of Photography at Valparaiso, Chile, and editor of the South American photo magazine Sueño de la Razón picks his top five of 2017 - including Andres Figueroa's photobook Bailarines del desierto
Andres Figueroa’s Bailarines del desierto
A very nice book from this author, fine work by a craftsman who will go far into the desert with his big view camera and kind spirit to portray dancers and musicians on location there. A loose and large community that participates in traditional festivities, these artists, with their costumes and energy, keep alive this area of the altiplano, the Andes highlands in northern Chile and southern Peru, and its cultures.
Nicolas Saez’s Replica Original
An exhibition of a project in which Saez asks people living next to a cellular phone antenna to let him transform their rooms into a camera obscure – a photographic set up that becomes a proof that the antenna lives within them. This said, the best part of it lies in the ludic way he shows the images, so you really think in a language of pictures, not text, to get lots of ideas about the use of the medium, or the notion of document, or the lives we are living, and so on.
Stephen Shore’s La Brea, curated by Markus Schaden and the Photobook Museum
The creative German curator and photobook expert, along with his team at the PBM, developed this exhibition, which was digitally printed and hung in Montevideo during this year’s En CMYK festival. This new version, which delves into the idea of ‘circulation’ and photobooks, showed how this image became iconic and the ways in which it ‘circulated’ from Shore’s portfolio to photo stardom through photobooks and academic quotations, as well as how it spread a new conception of what ‘a photograph’, or ‘landscape’, is.
Focco PhotoFestival in Coquimbo, Chile
In January I was invited to this unpretentious and very warm gathering in Elqui province. I had the great luck to be chosen for this new project, in which I would send a set of 200+ photographs and they would set up a curatorial workshop with a very diverse group of people to discuss and classify them. They then curated an exhibition in the local museum, including a nice curatorial text. It was an exciting experience in social collaboration, and in expanding my ideas about the medium.
Martin Gusinde el espíritu de los hombres de Tierra del Fuego SELKNAM, YAGÁN, KAWÉSQAR in Puerto Williams
A large and fantastic exhibition curated by Christine Barthe and Xavier Barral (France) from the archives of the talented German artist, Martin Gusinde. His portraits are very impressive, and his pictures of the ceremonies he set up with the help of his local friends, to preserve some almost lost traditions, are among photography’s masterpieces. Somehow, against the obvious facts, I imagined those images belonged to prehistory. But then, as we were hanging the images in the local museum at Puerto Williams, close to the original site in Tierra del Fuego where the German ethnographer and priest shot some of his iconic images between 1918 and 1924, this man showed me with great pride his grandparents. I suddenly realised one of the, again obvious, great powers of photography – the whole community got great knowledge out of these series as they found out, for instance, who their direct relatives were.
Martin Gonzalez in front of portraits of his grandparents by Martin Gusinde © Luis Weinstein