3.24.2017

LatAm f100: NADIE and Fred Ramos

From the series "Vestidos" © NADIE

fototazo has asked a group of 50 curators, gallery owners, blog writers, photographers, academics and others actively engaged with Latin American photography to pick two early career photographers whose work deserves recognition.

This project aims to highlight great work being made in the region today and also to provide a starting point in both English and Spanish for exploring contemporary Latin American photography. LatAm f100 is a collaboration between fototazo and the photographer and educator Jaime Permuth.

Today we continue the series with selections by Muriel Hasbun. Her biography follows her selections.

The series also includes responses from Molly RobertsMariela SancariAlonso CastilloPaccarik OrueKatrin EismannDina MitraniDon Gregorio AntonCristina De Middel, Arturo SotoCecilia Fajardo-HillGuillermo Srodek-HartYorgos EfthymiadisLivia AnimasJuanita BermúdezSusana Raab, the pairing of Victoria Holguín and Daniella Benedetti and Emiliano Valdés.

fototazo ha invitado a un grupo de 50 curadores, galeristas, escritores, fotógrafos, y académicos - entre otros individuos seriamente comprometidos con la fotografía latinoamericana - a escoger cada quién dos fotógrafos emergentes cuya obra sea merecedora de mayor reconocimiento.

Este proyecto es una manera de celebrar el gran trabajo que se lleva a cabo en la región. Asimismo, busca proporcionar un punto de partida bilingüe en inglés y en español a las audiencias que deseen explorar la fotografía contemporánea en latinoamérica. LatAm f100 es una colaboración entre fototazo y el fotógrafo y educador Jaime Permuth.


Hoy continuamos la serie con selecciones aportadas por Muriel Hasbun
Encontrará su biografía al final del texto.

La serie también incluye contribuciones de 
Molly RobertsMariela SancariAlonso CastilloPaccarik OrueKatrin EismannDina MitraniDon Gregorio AntonCristina De MiddelArturo SotoCecilia Fajardo-HillGuillermo Srodek-HartYorgos EfthymiadisLivia AnimasJuanita BermúdezSusana Raab, el dúo de Victoria Holguín and Daniella Benedetti y Emiliano Valdés.
____________________

NADIE (Javier Ramírez) (b. 1985, El Salvador) is a conceptual and multidisciplinary artist who uses photography innovatively and without restrictions. He is self-taught, employs the tools available to him, such as his laptop or phone camera, as well as free internet editing software. His work touches me because of its sincerity and integrity, and by the intelligence with which he questions what he calls "the limit of authorship." His work falls within the self-portrait and performance traditions, constructing and affirming his identity in the process of questioning. He is a free and contestatory spirit who does not fear precariousness or vulnerability. In fact, he embraces it; hence, the strength of his work. NADIE has received numerous awards and he contributes to the Salvadoran art sphere with collaborative projects, such as FEA - Fiesta Ecléctica de las Artes - and ADAPTE, a yearly event that curates artists' projects with interventions in public spaces in San Salvador.

Quisiera presentar el trabajo de NADIE (Javier Ramírez) (n. 1985, El Salvador). NADIE es un artista conceptual multidisciplinario que utiliza la fotografía de una manera muy innovadora y sin restricciones. Es autodidacta y disfruta de herramientas a su alcance, como la cámara de su computadora o de su teléfono, al igual que programas de edición grátis bajados del internet. Su trabajo me toca por su sinceridad, su integridad, y por la inteligencia de cómo interroga lo que él llama "el límite de la autoría." Su obra se establece dentro de la tradición del auto-retrato y del performance, construyendo y afirmando su identidad en el proceso de cuestionamiento. Su espíritu es libre y contestatario. No teme a la precariedad ni a la vulnerabilidad. Más bien, la busca. De allí la fuerza de su trabajo. NADIE ha recibido numerosos premios y contribuye al ambiente artístico salvadoreño con proyectos en colaboración con otros artistas como FEA - Fiesta Ecléctica de las Artes - y ADAPTE, un evento anual de intervenciones artísticas en los espacios públicos de San Salvador.

From the series "Bolo" © NADIE


From the series "Bolo" © NADIE


From the series "Capturas" © NADIE


From the series "Capturas" © NADIE


From the series "Error" © NADIE


From the series "Muñeca" © NADIE


Installation of "Sacro" © NADIE


Installation of "Sacro" © NADIE


From the series "Sorpresa" © NADIE

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Fred Ramos (b. 1986, El Salvador) is a photojournalist currently working for the online newspaper El Faro. He finds himself in the difficult situation of responding to the thirst for news and of the media, covering the face of violence in El Salvador. How can one be a responsible witness and photograph day in and day out in an environment that asks for a visual language that repeats victimization and otherness? Winner of the 2014 World Press Photo with his series depicting the clothing remnants of the disappeared, Fred searches for alternative ways of representing the pain of violence, by focusing on the absence of the body. He delves into stories that surround him, documenting, for example, teen-mothers and indigenous protectors of the environment, working seriously and humanely in the tradition of photo reportage. Personally, I'm very interested in his work in progress about his family because it frames his family within the Salvadoran historical context, giving us access to a world that is even more personal and subjective.

Fred Ramos (n. 1986, El Salvador) es foto periodista de profesión (trabaja para el periódico en línea El Faro) y se encuentra en esa difícil situación de responder a la sed de las noticias y de los medios, cubriendo la cara de la violencia en El Salvador. ¿Cómo ser a la vez testigo responsable y fotografiar día a día en un ambiente que pide un lenguaje visual que repite la victimización y la otredad? Ganador del World Press Photo en el 2014 con su serie de las vestimentas de los desaparecidos, Fred trata de buscar formas alternativas de representar el dolor de la violencia, más bien enfocándose en la ausencia del cuerpo. Ahonda en las historias que lo rodean, por ejemplo, contándonos acerca de las niñas-madres o de los protectores indígenas del medio ambiente, y nos da un trabajo serio y humano dentro de la tradición documental del reportaje fotográfico. En lo personal, me interesa mucho su proyecto en proceso acerca de su familia, pues enmarca a su familia dentro del contexto histórico salvadoreño, dándonos acceso a un mundo aún más personal y subjetivo.


© Fred Ramos


© Fred Ramos


© Fred Ramos


© Fred Ramos


© Fred Ramos


© Fred Ramos


© Fred Ramos


© Fred Ramos


© Fred Ramos


© Fred Ramos

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Muriel Hasbun. American, Salvadoran, French. b. 1961, San Salvador, El Salvador.

Muriel Hasbun's expertise as an artist and as an educator focuses on issues of cultural identity and memory. Through an intergenerational, transnational and transcultural lens, Hasbun constructs contemporary narratives and establishes a space for dialogue where individual and collective memory spark new questions about identity and place.

A 2016 Artist in Residence at the Centro Cultural de España in San Salvador, Hasbun is the recipient of numerous distinctions, including: a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship (2014), the Howard Chapnick Grant of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund for laberinto projects (2014); Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Awards in Photography (2015 and 2012) and in Media (2008); a Museums Connect grant funded by the U.S. Department of State and the American Association of Museums (2011-12);  an Escuela de Bellas Artes Artist in Residence in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (2010); the Corcoran's Outstanding Creative Research Faculty Award (2007) and a Fulbright Scholar Grant (2006-2008).

Hasbun's photo-based work has been internationally exhibited. Venues include: Civilian Art Projects (2016); American University Museum (2016, 2008); Centro Cultural de España in San Salvador (2016, 2015, 2006); Smithsonian American Art Museum (2013, 2011); the Maier Museum of Art (2012); Light Work and Mexican Cultural Institute (2011); the MAC-Dallas and the Michael Mazzeo Gallery (2010); NYU's Hemispheric Institute at the Centro Cultural Recoleta in Buenos Aires (2007); the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego (2007); Houston’s FotoFest (2006), the Corcoran Gallery of Art (2004); the 50th Venice Biennale (2003); the Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City (1999); and the Musée de l'Arles Antique at the 29ème Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie d’Arles (1998). Similarly, her photographs are in numerous private and public collections, including the Art Museum of the Americas, District of Columbia Art Bank, En Foco, Lehigh University,  Smithsonian American Art Museum, University of Texas-Austin and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

Muriel Hasbun is the founder of laberinto projects, a transnational, cultural memory initiative that fosters contemporary art practices, social inclusion and dialogue in El Salvador and its diaspora, through exhibitions, art education, artist residencies and community engagement.

Most recently, Muriel Hasbun was Professor and Program Head of Photography at the Corcoran School of Arts & Design at GWU. She is now Professor Emeritus.

Hasbun received a MFA in Photography (1989) from George Washington University where she studied with Ray K. Metzker (1987-88). She earned an AB in French Literature (1983), cum laude, from Georgetown University.

3.22.2017

LatAm f100: Andrea Aragón and José Castrellón

From the series "Home" © Andrea Aragón

fototazo has asked a group of 50 curators, gallery owners, blog writers, photographers, academics and others actively engaged with Latin American photography to pick two early career photographers whose work deserves recognition.

This project aims to highlight great work being made in the region today and also to provide a starting point in both English and Spanish for exploring contemporary Latin American photography. LatAm f100 is a collaboration between fototazo and the photographer and educator Jaime Permuth.

Today we continue the series with selections by Emiliano Valdés. His biography follows his selections.

The series also includes responses from Molly RobertsMariela SancariAlonso CastilloPaccarik OrueKatrin EismannDina MitraniDon Gregorio AntonCristina De Middel, Arturo SotoCecilia Fajardo-HillGuillermo Srodek-HartYorgos EfthymiadisLivia AnimasJuanita BermúdezSusana Raab. and the pairing of Victoria Holguín and Daniella Benedetti.

fototazo ha invitado a un grupo de 50 curadores, galeristas, escritores, fotógrafos, y académicos - entre otros individuos seriamente comprometidos con la fotografía latinoamericana - a escoger cada quién dos fotógrafos emergentes cuya obra sea merecedora de mayor reconocimiento.

Este proyecto es una manera de celebrar el gran trabajo que se lleva a cabo en la región. Asimismo, busca proporcionar un punto de partida bilingüe en inglés y en español a las audiencias que deseen explorar la fotografía contemporánea en latinoamérica. LatAm f100 es una colaboración entre fototazo y el fotógrafo y educador Jaime Permuth.


Hoy continuamos la serie con selecciones aportadas por Emiliano Valdés. Encontrará su biografía al final del texto.


La serie también incluye contribuciones de Molly RobertsMariela SancariAlonso CastilloPaccarik OrueKatrin EismannDina MitraniDon Gregorio AntonCristina De MiddelArturo SotoCecilia Fajardo-HillGuillermo Srodek-HartYorgos EfthymiadisLivia AnimasJuanita BermúdezSusana Raab y el dúo de Victoria Holguín and Daniella Benedetti
.
______________________________

Andrea Aragón (Guatemala, 1970) has dedicated herself to photographing the dark side of a country of great complexities. That's why, along with refusing to make aesthetic concessions with her photography, that her work has not been recognized enough in the era of Instagram filters. However, in Guatemala, Andrea Aragón's anti-postcards have set a standard of honesty in the approach to the cultural landscape and her series of photographs about prostitutes online - a marginal area of cheap prostitution that runs along the side of a abandoned train track - is a reference point in the recognition of marginalized, excluded and often ignored populations. From the adolescence of her own daughter to the deep effects of the massive migration of Guatemalans to the US, Andrea Aragón documents a country that has managed to hide its most problematic face behind landscapes and folklore.

Andrea Aragón (Guatemala, 1970) se ha dedicado a fotografiar el lado oscuro de un país de grandes complejidades. Por eso, y porque su fotografía no hace concesiones estéticas, su trabajo no ha sido reconocido lo suficiente en la era de los filtros de Instagram. Sin embargo, en Guatemala, las anti-postales de Andrea Aragón han marcado un estándar de honestidad en el acercamiento al paisaje cultural y su serie de fotografías sobre las prostitutas de la línea –un área marginal de prostitución barata a lo largo de la línea de un tren en desuso– es una referencia en el reconocimiento de las poblaciones marginadas, excluidas y muchas veces ignoradas. Desde la adolescencia de su propia hija hasta los profundos efectos de la migración masiva de guatemaltecos a EEUU, Andrea Aragón documenta un país que ha sabido esconder su cara más problemática detrás de los paisajes y el folklore.

From the series "Home" © Andrea Aragón


From the series "Jovenes" © Andrea Aragón


From the series "La linea" © Andrea Aragón


From the series "La linea" © Andrea Aragón


From the series "Verte por última vez" © Andrea Aragón


From the series "Verte por última vez" © Andrea Aragón


From the series "Solvencia Moral" © Andrea Aragón


From the series "Adolescencia" © Andrea Aragón


From the series "Adolescencia" © Andrea Aragón

______________________________

José Castrellón (Panamá, 1980) is an artist that, through an impeccable sense of framing, dedicates himself to identifying and portraying cultural and human phenomena in his native Panama. Through visual essays, Castrellón has created a universe in which the result of the transformation of villages, territories and areas of the country, largely a product of human movements and ideas, is evident. Zoned Out, for example, is an extensive study of the former Panama Canal Zone that accounts for the US legacy on the isthmus: a series of abandoned structures, and the increasingly distant trace of the American occupation. Priti Baiks, on the other hand, is a set of portraits of Panamanians who have pimped out their bikes into mobile sculptures, but also symbols of identity. With sensitivity and a sense of humor, Castrellón captures processes - sometimes implausible - of cultural transformation.

José Castrellón (Panamá, 1980) es un artista que, con un impecable sentido del encuadre, se dedica a identificar y retratar fenómenos culturales y humanos en su natal Panamá. A través de ensayos visuales, Castrellón ha generado un universo en el que se evidencia el resultado de la transformación de pueblos, territorios y áreas del país, en gran medida producto de los movimientos humanos y de ideas. Zoned Out, por ejemplo, es un extenso estudio de la antigua zona del canal de Panamá que da cuenta del legado de los EEUU en el istmo: una serie de estructuras abandonadas y el rastro, cada vez más lejano, de la ocupación estadounidense. Priti Baiks, por otro lado, es un conjunto de retratos de panameños que han pimpeado sus bicicletas hasta convertirlas en esculturas móviles pero también símbolos identitarios. Con sensibilidad y sentido del humor, Castrellón captura procesos –a veces inverosímiles– de transformación cultural.

From the series "Priti Baiks" © José Castrellón


From the series "Priti Baiks" © José Castrellón


From the series "Priti Baiks" © José Castrellón


From the series "Priti Baiks" © José Castrellón


From the series "Priti Baiks" © José Castrellón


From the series "Zoned Out" © José Castrellón


From the series "Zoned Out" © José Caatrellón


From the series "Zoned Out" © José Castrellón


From the series "Zoned Out" © José Castrellón


From the series "Zoned Out" © José Castrellón

______________________________

Emiliano Valdés (Guatemala, 1980) is Chief Curator at the Medellin Museum of Modern Art. Until recently, he was Associate Curator for the 10th Gwangju Biennale (South Korea) and Co-Director of Proyectos Ultravioleta (Guatemala), a multifaceted platform for experimentation in Contemporary Art based in Guatemala City. Prior to that, he was the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Curatorial Fellow at dOCUMENTA(13) and Curator/Head of Visual Arts at the Centro Cultural de España en Guatemala. Valdés has also worked for institutions such as the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, (Madrid), and Contemporary Magazines, (London). He holds a Degree in Architecture from the IUAV University in Venice Italy and a Master’s Degree in Hispanic Studies from the Spanish Ministry of Culture, Spain and Fundación Duques de Soria. Valdés has written for ArtNexus, The Exhibitionist, Arte al Día, and FlashArt, amongst other international publications as well as for artist catalogs and specialized books.

3.17.2017

Interview: Margarita Valdivieso

© Margarita Valdivieso

Margarita Valdivieso was a fototazo microgrant recipient in 2011. In 2015 she took part in the Intensive Workshop for Emerging Latin American Photographers at the University of Iowa through fototazo. In 2016 she held a residency at The Fountainhead in Miami. Between the two experiences she developed her project Missed Connections.

Valdivieso is a visual artist based in Medellin, Colombia. Within her artistic practice she's interested in questioning and subverting cultural phenomena related to specific local contexts, territories or communities. Specifically, she has worked with the notions of body/landscapes, gender and identity among others. She's been awarded the fototazo Microgrant (2011), selected as an artist for the Vivarte Residency in Sao Paulo, Brazil (2012); awarded funds for the publication of the magazine Cosmopolitican Colombia (2014) from the Artist of the UDEA Researchers Fund, selected as the grant winner of the Alps Art Academy in Switzerland (2016) and selected for a scholarship by the Colombian Ministry of Culture for the artist residency "Missed Connections” at The Fountainhead Residency, Miami (2016). She was also selected for the book "Colombian Women Photographers" that will be released in spring 2017 and was just selected to participate in the New York Portfolio review in April 2017 conducted by The New York Times Lens Blog and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

____________________

fototazo: Tell us about the basics of Missed Connections and its development.

Margarita ValdiviesoMissed Connections is based on a section of Craigslist where people write about missed connections that they had  with other people on the streets. The section is subcategorized into genders - for example men for women, women for women, etc. - and it aims to reconnect you with people you may have seen, but not talked to or had real contact with. I find the concept "missed connection" a particular cultural idea that creates a scenario and narrative that I'm interested in working with.

f: What are some of the ways that the specifics of place in Iowa and Miami influence the visual development of your project, Missed Connections?

MV: I think every place gives me clues and ideas to create variations of the same big aesthetic constellation. Every city gives you a different pattern of color and circumstances: in Miami, for example, the idea and reality of water and of a humid place were very important. It allowed me to shoot and experiment with underwater disposable cameras and recognize a palette of colors that were very particular to this context.

© Margarita Valdivieso


© Margarita Valdivieso


© Margarita Valdivieso

f: The American landscape has a long and rich tradition in both painting and photography and I think that makes it one of the harder genres to work in. As you explore the country for the first time, what is your engagement with this tradition and how have you looked to move beyond repeating traditional genre formula?

MV: This project is a commentary about American landscape through the narratives of modern love and how culture affects landscape and creates it.  I've been more influenced by Latin American landscape, aesthetics and imaginations and for me, to think about the American landscape is to create connections and understand differences between the American and Latin American traditions. Although I've been influenced by some American artists whom have developed ideas around the same topic, such as Edward Hopper, I like my position as an outsider that allows me to look at the landscape as a whole portrait of a culture.

© Margarita Valdivieso


© Margarita Valdivieso


© Margarita Valdivieso

f: In an interview with the Colombian photography site Fotomeraki, you state the project takes a sarcastic and critical stance of online social romantic phenomena and also the American landscape. What about these subjects has caused you to develop that stance, and is there a reason for coming to assume the same stance towards both?

MV: In the interview I was talking about how, through my project, I try to be sarcastic about online romantic phenomena. Nevertheless, I'm not assuming the same stance about the American landscape. I utilize the landscape to make a portrait or create a comparison between reality and the missed connection expressions of love. In that sense, I feel that by taking pictures of landscapes '’m approaching that sarcastic touch, but my feeling about it is more of the sensation of solitude of a country where people mostly live "inside."

© Margarita Valdivieso


Page spread from the "Missed Connections" book maquette © Margarita Valdivieso

f: A lot of the images to me feel wistful, melancholic, meditative, quiet and emotionally honest. Do you agree? If you do, how does that kind of image-making work with ideas of sarcasm and critique?

MV: I do completely agree. The landscape is alive and it has its own emotional weight. My intention is to create a critical perspective on the topic of the expressions of love in modernity. The sarcasm comes by the comparison of the pictures and the solitude of the landscapes. This is why fanzines or photobooks are such an important format in the development of this project because they allow me to place the image and the text side by side, heightening the contrast between them.

© Margarita Valdivieso


Page spread from the "Missed Connections" book maquette © Margarita Valdivieso

f: Other photography projects have worked with social media, most notably Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman's Geolocation project which they began in 2007. How does your project relate – or does it relate – to the existing photographic conversation about social media?

MV: Yes, social media or virtuality is an important concept of this project; does social media affect, transform or re-create landscapes?

© Margarita Valdivieso


© Margarita Valdivieso


© Margarita Valdivieso

f: Finally, in Miami you presented Missed Connections as a live event with musicians singing boleros. Can you tell us more about it?

MV: Yes, Missed Connections is also a collaborative project. The intention of doing performances or happenings is to create interactions with poets based where I take the photographs, as well as including slam poetry and popular regional music, because musicians can bring endemic narratives, atmospheres and local tales to the project. It is a project based on the American landscape built on the locality.

Missed Connections performance, Miami, 2016 © Margarita Valdivieso