On 7 September 2017, just before midnight, a magnitude 8.1 earthquake hit Mexico’s southern coast, the second strongest earthquake in the country’s history. It was felt by 50 million people across Mexico and, in the heavily affected states of Oaxaca and Chiapas, killed dozens of people and left over 100,000 homes damaged.
When the earthquake hit, Andres Millan was living in his hometown in Bogota, Colombia, preparing for a four-month residency that would start in November at Casa El Ocote, a gallery and cultural centre in Oaxaca. At quarter to midnight, alerts started to pop up on Millan’s mobile phone. When he switched on the news, the first image he saw was of the Mexican flag at the Municipal Palace in Oaxaca, lit up by lights coming from police cars.
My home is my castle references these first images that Millan saw from Colombia when the earthquake hit. “I wanted to recreate the light from the police car, so the photos are made with two flashes, one with a red filter and another with a blue one. The mixture of colours made the images acquire that pink colour,” he explains.
Between 1993 and 2010, Harvey Stein visited Mexico 14 times, which makes every year bar three. Fascinated by what he found, he photographed communities in small towns and villages, mostly during festivals such as Day of the Dead, Easter, and Independence Day.
In his new book, Mexico – Between Life and Death, Stein explores the disparities of a culture he became fascinated by, showing Mexico as a country of contrast – where life meets death, deep-rooted tradition meets creeping progress, and religious belief meets worldly corruption.
“Most of my initial photography projects have grown by asking myself questions about my heritage, culture and where I come from,” says Kovi Konowiecki, who’s currently based between his native California and Mexico City. Brought up in a Jewish home in Long Beach, the 25-year- old former footballer has intimately captured his hometown and its surrounding areas, as well as travelling further afield, to document the wider Jewish diaspora. The nebulous concept of home – what it means and what it is like to voyage beyond it – is a recurring theme in his work. From exploring contemporary notions of Orthodox Judaism in England, the US and Israel, to the racial and cultural discrimination faced by Ethiopian Jews in Israel, Konowiecki’s drive to better understand aspects of his own identity has brought him into contact with a broad range of distinct cultures and communities. Over the past three years, he began to trace similarities between the people he was photographing, who all tended to occupy a liminal space between belonging and isolation. His latest project, …
ALMANAQUE opened in February 2016 in Mexico City, with a dedication to contemporary photography. The gallery exhibits and sells international works from both established and emerging artists, exploring current manifestations on image as an artistic dispositive. Alongside gallery work, ALMANAQUE has begun a Portafolio initiative, offering professional consultations on collecting, curating and art direction for individuals, corporations and institutions. We spoke to director Arturo Delgado ahead of Photo London, to find out more about the artists ALMANAQUE are bringing to the event, and to hear Arturo’s insights on collecting. What excites you the most about exhibiting your artists at Photo London? The opportunity to share our multi-award winning artists with the UK public. We are bringing four artists to the fair; three from Mexico and one from Russia, representing several generations of contemporary imagery. These renowned artists all have an unexpected bond to the UK. Which artists’ work will you be showing at Photo London? Why? We will be showing work by the preeminent Pablo Ortiz Monasterio, one of the most renowned Mexican photographers, whose …
With her tent pitched on a local family’s front garden, Cécile Smetana Baudier spent five weeks photographing Costa Chica’s hidden Afro-Mexican community
“I’m not concerned with being an environmental photographer, I’m concerned with making images that make you feel something you can’t quite understand. There’s something that happens when you’re presented with what you can’t quite fathom.” In Matter, Michael Lundgren explores deserts in Spain, the US and Mexico but his landscapes are a departure from more traditional photographs in this field. He wants us to question the world around us and find a magical realism in life, death and our environment.
In June 2008, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin swapped their east London studio for Helmand Province in Afghanistan. Embedded with the British Army, they arrived during the deadliest month of the entire war – the day after they arrived, a fixer for the BBC was dragged from his car and executed, then nine Afghan soldiers were killed in a suicide attack. The following day, three British soldiers were killed on patrol.The celebrated conceptual photographers left their cameras at home, however, instead ‘documenting’ each event by rolling out 50m-long pieces of photographic paper at 7m intervals and exposing them to the intense Afghan sun. “The results deny the viewer the cathartic effect offered up by the conventional language of photographic responses to conflict and suffering,” the pair claimed, exhibiting the end result with the title The Day Nobody Died. Broomberg and Chanarin, both 43 and from South Africa, have become increasingly interested in the depiction of war – last year they won the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize for War Primer 2, a repurposing of Bertolt Brecht’s …