From President Obama’s reelection and Superstorm Sandy’s aftermath to a deadly earthquake in Guatemala and a train cemetery in Bolivia, TIME presents the best photographs of the week.
Moises Saman has some terrific images from the street protests in Cairo running in the latest Time Int’l issue dated October 1, 2012 alongside an article ‘A Moment for Moderates’ written by Fareed Zakaria. You can see Saman’s photographs online at Lightbox under the title ‘ Photographing the Clashes in Cairo’. Below the opening spread in the magazine.
I have some photos up in a group show in Lima called Selva Virgen, Salvaje y Sensual. It’s currently up at the Casa Inmobiliaria located on Javier Prado Oeste and Los Castanos (on the off chance you’re in Lima). The title translates as “Virgin Jungle: Salvage and Sensual.” The photos mostly deal with the culture and people of the Amazon region in Peru. In the rest of Peru, the region and especially it’s largest city Iquitos is perceived as sensual and libertine, a sort of Brazil-in-Peru. A lot of the photos in the exhibit deal with this one way or another.
Here’s the promo card for the exhibit:
The show features ten photographers and two painters. It was curated by the painter Christian Bendayan who is from Iquitos and whom I’ve blogged about before. It’s a real honor to be included in this group and my only regret is not being able to be in Lima to check it out. Fortunately, thanks to Facebook, I’ve been able to piece together some random shots, which I’ll share here to give you a sense of the show.
The show is housed in a old mansion that will be demolished soon for a luxury high rise. In the meantime, the space is functioning as an art exhibition space (and sales office). Back in March, when I was in Lima, I blogged about a show there called Miscelanea (todo se queda en casa).
Here’s some work by the different photographers in the show:
Adrian Portugal of Supay Fotos, features images of female dancers and it looks like they are over-painted with black-light paint. This neon paint is used a lot in popular bars and discos in Iquitos.
I love the way the paint drips off this photo and glows under the UV light. Again, it’s a shame I can’t go to the show.
Antonio Escalante shows photographs of older women (maybe prostitutes?) in dark interior spaces. In addition to the photos, I like the frames and the colorful wallpaper. In general, there was a lot of thought put into the presentation of the photos and the use of the space.
Sandro Aguilar has pictures of naked women in the forest and a few pictures taken with a holga that I quite like. I’d love to see more but he doesn’t seem to have a website. Update: he does have a website.
Rodrigo Rodrich photographs various indigenous groups in the forest with a softbox. I believe these were originally for a magazine assignment. They are nice group arrangements. I think photographing groups is next to impossible so I always appreciate it when I see it done well.
Musuk Nolte shows very expressive, black and white pictures of boys with water splashing all around them. I seem to recall these having something to do with the insane asylum in Iquitos, but I may be confusing these with other photographs.
Gihan Tubbeh’s photos feature female erotic dancers.
Marcos Lopez, from Argentina, features several photographs from the main cemetery in Iquitos, altho it looks like they were instead painted on the wall for the exhibit, which looks really cool.
Morfi Jimenez does black and white portraits, often with flash, which he then colors-in, in the mode of Felice Beato or Jan Saudek (the promo-card image for the show is his).
Here’s a gallery of Jimenez’s Iquitos images (since they don’t seem to be on his website).
Carlos Sanchez Giraldo is showing this series of three, round panels that look like they are painted. Sanchez also organized the Retratos Pintados show that I really liked back in March.
I’m in the show too
This is actually my first curated group show, so I’m really pleased. The work and the installations look amazing. I’m just sad I can’t be in Lima to see the show. I’m showing a selection of portraits that I made last year in Iquitos.
That’s Carlos, one of the guys I photographed, standing below his photo in the show. He lives in Lima now, so he was able to attend the opening (and post a lot of these pictures to Facebook, not to mention give me permission to post them here). I haven’t put any of this work up on my website yet. I was in Iquitos again this year and made a ton more portraits which I haven’t been able to scan yet. I do have the photos from last year scanned but I’ve been waiting to do a more final edit. Still, here’s a few of my portraits that were in the show.
Here’s a full list of the participating photographers (with links, where I found them): Antonio Escalante, Musuk Nolte, Adrián Portugal, Morfi Jimenez, Rodrigo Rodrich, Marcos López, Gihan Tubbeh, Sandro Aguilar, José Ashuco Araujo, Carlos Sánchez Giraldo and Luis Sakiray.
In celebration of the Egypt’s first free presidential elections, today’s tearsheet is a Moises Saman double spread from Cairo in the latest Newsweek Int’l dated 28 May 2012. The photo opens Dan Ephron’s article ‘The Irresistible Islamist’.
Caption in the magazine: Egyptians go to the polls this week.
You can see the photo also in a slideshow on Newsweek here.
Moises Saman is currently covering the presidential elections for The New York Times. A slideshow, ‘Egypt’s Choice’, was posted on NYT website two days ago.
His November 2011 series ‘Cairo Undone’ on the New York Times, narrated by the late Anthony Shadid is really worth having a look if you haven’t seen it before.
While still in Lima, I was browsing an old issue from a defunct French photography magazine that focuses on photography collectives. I discovered this project, Cura Loca which is a collaboration between French photographer Stephane Moiroux and Peruvian Amazonian painter Paolo Del Aguila Sajami.
It depicts people undergoing treatments for various ailments (physical, mental, spiritual) by local shamans in the Peruvian Amazon (mostly around the city of Pucallpa) and often using psychoactive plants such as ayahuasca.
Del Aguila paints over Moiroux’s photographs with fascinating results.
These photos try to accomplish the impossible; depict the mental state of someone undergoing these traditional treatments. Still, the results are surprising and a true collaboration. These photos without the painting would be totally different. Also Del Aguila’s paintings only vaguely resemble his contributions to these photographs. Here’s a sample of one of his paintings:
It’s a couple of months now since I left Iquitos, but I still have the jungle on my mind.
Supay Fotos is a collective of photographers in Peru who work both individually as well as a collaborating on projects. While I was in Lima they had a show of photos on Iquitos called Borde (which means border or edge, as in ‘the edge of reason’). One of their members, Adrian Portugal, whom I had the pleasure of meeting while I was in Iquitos, recently sent me some photos of the project.
Again, I was super-lucky to be in Lima and be able to visit this show. Here are a couple of photos from the exhibit:
The New Yorker published one of Portugal’s images for a story back in 2010. For the occasion, their blog Photo Booth, wrote a post about Supay’s work.
There’s a lot going on these days with photography in Lima. There will soon be a museum dedicated to photography in the city, FOLI (Museo de Fotografia de Lima). They don’t have a permanent home yet but they are very active in public outreach activities. For the last three weeks they’ve set up four shipping containers in a busy park and organized various activities around the site.
As part of the installation there was an exhibit of work, The Road to Tepeyac by Alinka Echeverria, showing religious pilgrims in Mexico. A shipping container does not make a great exhibit space but I will say that a ton of people saw this exhibit by dint of being in a heavily trafficked park. Apart from the exhibit, there were lots of ongoing activities, the nicest of which were outdoor, evening slide shows (Lima’s late summer climate being perfect for outdoor stuff in the evening).
FOLI’s facebook page has more photos of the installation and ongoing updates about their activities.
Here’s a video from Lensculture about FOLI
The Spanish cultural center in Lima is hosting a show about the architecture of Remittances (Arquitectura de Remesas). Organized by El Salvadoran artist Walterio Iraheta, the show features photographs of houses in Central America built with money sent home by relatives working in the United States.
This project looks at 9 different communities, three each in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, with large emmigrant populations and the houses built with money sent home. The project seems to be an outgrowth of Iraheta’s series, Farway Brother Style, with there being a lot of overlap in both.
The houses mostly seem to follow local contemporary vernacular styles (with the volume turned up to 11), although there are several houses that look as if plucked out of some Southern California subdivision, suggesting a difussion of style (the pseudo-spanish inflections of California residential arquitecture is a topic that will be left for another post).
There is a certain off-the-shelf quality to the photos. They are OK but clearly subservient to the broader idea of the exhibit and the social phenomena of Central American migration to the United States. They lack beauty of say, Eduardo Del Valle and Mirta Gomez’s series From the Ground Up, on houses in the Yucatan (a 20+ year project). Still, I love these sorts of projects.
Most fascinating for me was this panorama of San Mateo Ixtatán in Guatemala. It, literally, moves beyond the individual houses and shows the broader context of these houses within their communities.
Looking at the above photo, I was reminded of San Gimignano with its medieval towers (a result of similar dynamics of new wealth and social status being reflected architecturally).