5.14.2018

Review: "Kleine Fotoenzyklopädie" by Guadalupe Ruiz


En español aquí

The table of contents of Guadalupe Ruiz's Kleine Fotoenzyklopädie (Small Encyclopedia) lays out an orderly sequence of 37 clearly defined entries containing a total of 645 photographs, but by the time we reach the second entry we have already run into problems.

The first chapter, entitled "Skyscrapers," contains photographs of…skyscrapers. The second chapter, "New Buildings," contains new buildings, but some of them are also skyscrapers. The third chapter, "Buildings, Chicago" creates more problems. Some of the buildings in it contain elements of all three of the categories established so far –new skyscrapers in Chicago. Why, then, are they listed in this chapter and not in one of the previous two? Is it because the buildings in the first two chapters all appear to be from New York, not Chicago? Then why does the third category include "Chicago" as part of its categorization, but the first two do not include "New York"? The system of organization has already shown its limitations and we're still in the opening pages.


 



The first six chapters all contain architecture and perhaps we can still hold on to the idea that the encyclopedia we have in our hands is actually an encyclopedia, despite the problems of its categorizations. Chapter seven, however, is composed of the covers of revolutionary books and magazines. It is followed by a chapter on Albanian paintings! What the hell is going on? The book dissolves into seeming free association, with subsequent chapters of photographs of a theme park, lots of flowers, separate chapters for Christmas in New York and Christmas in Bogota, and an entire chapter devoted to portraits of someone named Sandra Milena.

The specificity of the chapters telescopes in and out from "the countryside" to the items purchased from a particular deli. Subjects range from the universal, such as dogs, to the extremely personal, as in a chapter on items from Ruiz's parent's home. By the time we have finished the book for the first time, Ruiz's encyclopedia recalls the taxonomy of animals in the Chinese encyclopedia known as the Emporio celestial de conocimientos benévolos mentioned in Jorge Luis Borges' "The Analyticl Language of John Wilkins." In it, the world of animals is composed of the following:
(a) belonging to the emperor, (b) embalmed, (c) tame, (d) sucking pigs, (e) sirens, (f) fabulous, (g) stray dogs, (h) included in the present classification, (i) frenzied, (j) innumerable, (k) drawn with a very fine camelhair brush, (l) et cetera, (m) having just broken the water pitcher, (n) that from a long way off look like flies.




Viewing the chapters individually, we sense how Ruiz has critiqued and dismantled systems of classification, showing the absurdity and futility of our attempts to fully order what is around us and inspiring in the reader fundamental ontological and epistemological doubts about such a project. We also see in the chapters of photographs reference to one of the major questions facing photography today: how archivists, historians, and artists - among others – must decide which images have merit from the sea being produced today, what to let go, and how to select and give order to what will represent us and tell our narrative to future generations.

Just as the book itself begins to feel that it can be categorized as belonging to the worlds of conceptual photography, philosophical argumentation, and the intellect, however, something surprising happens.




Once we stop looking at the chapters individually, and look at them collectively, patterns become clear and a single person's sense of taste becomes palpable. We begin to feel the presence of someone who is drawn to flowers and fruits, as well as art and architecture, and who loves the color of supermarket packaging and desserts. We see someone's first impressions of Detroit through their photographs, and we look over objects from their parent's home. The person taking shape is someone who has traveled, from Mayan ruins to Genoa, who is curious about the differences between how people decorate for Christmas in Bogota and New York.

From the failure of the project's attempt at objective organization emerges the hidden hand that has been ordering the material, a subjective presence, the photographer herself. The puzzling disorder of chapters begins to have reason, but for just one person, the photographer herself. As we understand the book as the prism of this one woman's life, however, the puzzling disorder of chapters begins to have reason for us as well in how the chapters reflect all of our attempts to thread together and order our existence. This book that at first seemed of the head is also of the spirit.


Ruiz's work reminds us that the structure of the world is the structure that we give it. Kleine Fotoenzyklopädie therefore has political and cultural implications in today's age of Big Data, Cambridge Analytica, algorithms, Google Earth, DNA databases, and NSA files. Ruiz underscores the inherent limits, defects, and subjectiveness of such projects, no matter how much they may seem to accurately reflect reality, and by doing so she calls into question their authority and power. The systems we create to explain our surroundings also reveal as much about ourselves, our preoccupations and biases, as about what we attempt to classify. By reminding us that data accumulation projects reflect and serve the seemingly endless human demand to define, order, and know, she implicates each of us as well.

In this way, Ruiz's encyclopedia brings to mind another Borges story, "On Exactitude in Science." Borges writes of cartographers so ambitious that they create a map of their empire on a one-to-one scale. Future generations see the map project for the folly it was, leaving the map to disintegrate by exposing it to the elements. While Ruiz doesn't sketch out a future vision for our contemporary quest to completely order the universe, one can see the book as a critique of our direction, one as biting and witty as Borges', and Ruiz leaves it to us to decide what happens from here.


5.10.2018

LatAmf100: Linet Sanchéz Gutiérrez and Tania Franco Klein

© Linet Sanchéz Gutiérrez

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 Alfredo De Stefano Farías. 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, the pairing of Victoria Holguín and Daniella BenedettiEmiliano ValdésMuriel HasbunGeorge SladeMarta DahóElizabeth AvedonJorge PicciniRodrigo OrrantiaSujong SongNelson Herrera YslaOliva María RubioJonathan Blaustein, Patricia Martin, José Luis Cuevas, and Zully Sotelo.

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 Alfredo De Stefano Farías
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 BenedettiEmiliano ValdésMuriel HasbunGeorge SladeMarta DahóElizabeth AvedonJorge PicciniRodrigo OrrantiaSujong Song y Nelson Herrera YslaOliva María Rubio, Jonathan Blaustein, Patricia Martin, José Luis Cuevas y Zully Sotelo.

______________________________

Linet Sanchéz Gutiérrez (Cuba)
Linet is a multidisciplinary artist who builds a model of architectural spaces to then photograph them. Despite the whiteness and brightness, the spaces are very disturbing, they create the sensation that what will enter through one of the doors or windows will not be pleasant. The philosopher and poet Gastón Bachelard in his book "The Poetics of Space" mentions that space conserves compressed time and that this is space's purpose. In the spaces of Linet time has never existed beyond, perhaps, the memory of the photographer.

Linet es una artista multidisciplinaria que construye unas maquetas de espacios arquitectónicos para luego fotografiarlos. A pesar de lo blanco y luminosos los espacios son muy inquietantes, crean la sensación que lo que va a entrar por una de las puertas o ventanas no será nada agradable. El filósofo y poeta Gastón Bachelard en su libro “ La poética del espacio “ menciona que el espacio conserva tiempo comprimido y que el espacio sirve para eso. En los espacios de Linet el tiempo nunca ha existido mas que quizás en la memoria de la fotógrafa.

© Linet Sanchéz Gutiérrez


© Linet Sanchéz Gutiérrez


© Linet Sanchéz Gutiérrez


© Linet Sanchéz Gutiérrez


© Linet Sanchéz Gutiérrez


© Linet Sanchéz Gutiérrez


© Linet Sanchéz Gutiérrez


© Linet Sanchéz Gutiérrez


© Linet Sanchéz Gutiérrez
______________________________

Tania Franco Klein (México)
I find in Tania's work a connection between William Eggleston, David Lynch and the painter Edward Hopper. Her characters give the impression that they live and die of boredom, they are alone and it seems that what is outside of the house also oppresses them, hurts them, annoys them. The atmosphere and light of her photographs leave no doubt that suicide is imminent.

Encuentro en el trabajo de Tania una conexión entre William Eggleston, David Lynch y el pintor Edward Hopper. Sus personajes dan la sensación de que viven y mueren del aburrimiento, están solos y pareciera que lo que esta afuera de la casa también los oprime, los lastima, los fastidia. Las atmósferas y la luz de sus fotografías no dejan a dudas de que el suicidio es inminente.

From the series "Our Life in the Shadows" © Tania Franco Klein


From the series "Our Life in the Shadows" © Tania Franco Klein


From the series "Our Life in the Shadows" © Tania Franco Klein


From the series "Our Life in the Shadows" © Tania Franco Klein


From the series "Our Life in the Shadows" © Tania Franco Klein


From the series "Our Life in the Shadows" © Tania Franco Klein


From the series "Our Life in the Shadows" © Tania Franco Klein


From the series "Our Life in the Shadows" © Tania Franco Klein


From the series "Our Life in the Shadows" © Tania Franco Klein


From the series "Our Life in the Shadows" © Tania Franco Klein

______________________________

Alfredo De Stefano Farías is considered one of the most important contemporary conceptual photographers in Mexico. His passion is the landscape and specifically that of the desert, a panorama that has traveled many times photographing and intervening. among his photographic series stand out De parajes sin futuro (1992), Vestigios del paraíso (1996), Habitar el vacío (2002) y Breve crónica de luz (2006). Since 2008 he has been working on his new series, Storm of Light, which takes place in different deserts of the world. He has had more than ninety individual and group exhibitions, and his work has been exhibited in five continents, as well as in different capitals of the world including: Mexico, Paris, Sao Paulo, New York, Washington, Madrid, Bogotá, Lima, and Buenos Aires among others. His photographs have appeared in numerous books and magazines and his work is in public and private collections in Mexico and abroad. Since 2008 he has been a member of the Sistema Nacional de Creadores (National System of Creators).

He is a cultural administrator and director of the Contemporary Photography Contest of Mexico and Latin America, as well as the NL-Foto International Photography Festival in Monterrey, Mexico. He directs and founded the non-profit organization Luz del Norte Fotografía, A.C. dedicated to promoting and disseminating the diversity of Latin American photography through various platforms.

Alfredo De Stefano Farías es considerado uno de los fotógrafos conceptuales contemporáneos más importantes de México. Su pasión es el paisaje y específicamente el del desierto, panorama que ha recorrido infinidad de veces fotografiándolo e interviniéndolo. Entre sus series fotográficas destacan De parajes sin futuro (1992), Vestigios del paraíso (1996), Habitar el vacío (2002) y Breve crónica de luz (2006). Desde el 2008 trabaja en su nueva serie, Tormenta de luz y que se desarrolla en diferentes desiertos del mundo. En su haber se encuentran mas de noventa exposiciones, entre individuales y colectivas, y su trabajo se ha expuesto en los cinco continentes, así como en diferentes capitales del Mundo como: México, París, Sao Paulo, Nueva York, Washington, Madrid, Bogotá, Lima, Buenos Aires entre otras. Sus fotografías han aparecido en numerosos libros y revistas y su obra se encuentra en colecciones publicas y privadas de México y el extranjero. Desde el 2008 es miembro del Sistema Nacional de Creadores. 

Gestor cultural y director del Concurso de Fotografía Contemporánea de México y el de Latinoamérica, así como del Festival Internacional de Fotografía NL-Foto en Monterrey, N.L. México. Dirige y fundo la organización sin fines de lucro Luz del Norte Fotografía, A.C. dedicada a promover y difundir la diversidad de la fotografía latinoamericana a través de variadas plataformas.



5.07.2018

LatAm f100: Carolina Navas and Alicia Caldera

From the series "2219" © Alicia Caldera

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 Zully Sotelo. 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 BenedettiEmiliano ValdésMuriel HasbunGeorge SladeMarta DahóElizabeth AvedonJorge PicciniRodrigo OrrantiaSujong SongNelson Herrera YslaOliva María RubioJonathan Blaustein, Patricia Martin, and José Luis Cuevas.

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 Zully Sotelo
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 BenedettiEmiliano ValdésMuriel HasbunGeorge SladeMarta DahóElizabeth AvedonJorge PicciniRodrigo OrrantiaSujong Song y Nelson Herrera YslaOliva María Rubio, Jonathan Blaustein, Patricia Martin y José Luis Cuevas.

______________________________

Zully Sotelo: These are the names of two photographers that I have had the opportunity to meet at very early stages of their projects and careers; I believe that they have been developing their photographic projects in a very coherent and committed way and they have not had much diffusion in Colombia or Latin America.

(Gutsiness+ Desire): Carolina Navas (Colombia)

(Constancy + Poetry): Alicia Caldera (Venezuela)

Estos son los nombres de dos fotógrafas que he tenido la oportunidad de conocer en etapas muy tempranas de sus proyectos y carreras; considero que han ido desenvolviendo de manera muy coherente y comprometida sus proyectos fotográficos y no han tenido tanta difusión dentro de Colombia ni Latinoamérica.

(Berraquera + Deseo): Carolina Navas (Colombia)


(Constancia + Poesía): Alicia Caldera (Venezuela) 


______________________________

Carolina Navas

From the series "Bella Flor" © Carolina Navas


From the series "Bella Flor" © Carolina Navas


From the series "Bella Flor" © Carolina Navas


From the series "Mamá Helena" © Carolina Navas


From the series "Mamá Helena" © Carolina Navas


From the series "Mamá Helena" © Carolina Navas


Choko Aimer from the series "Nos miran" © Carolina Navas


La tierra y el cielo © Carolina Navas


Mi abuela y sus temores © Carolina Navas

______________________________

Alicia Caldera

From the series "2219" © Alicia Caldera


From the series "2219" © Alicia Caldera


From the series "2219" © Alicia Caldera


From the series "2219" © Alicia Caldera


From the series "2219" © Alicia Caldera


From the series "2219" © Alicia Caldera


From the series "2219" © Alicia Caldera


From the series "2219" © Alicia Caldera


From the series "2219" © Alicia Caldera


Artist statement: Venezuela está viviendo una crisis migratoria sin precedentes a raíz del deterioro de la calidad de vida y la falta de oportunidades. Colombia es, en este momento, el principal receptor de esta población al compartir 2219 km de frontera, siendo el Puente Internacional Simón Bolívar entre Cúcuta (Colombia) y San Antonio (Venezuela) el escenario más frecuentado para esta movilización de esperanzas y sueños.
 

A través de la creación de retratos híbridos y fragmentados reflexiono sobre esta diáspora asentada en Colombia junto a la relación estrecha, pero problemática, entre los dos países. Hago uso de la técnica del collage para expresar ideas contrapuestas de reparación, descomposición, oposición, división y unión.
 

El conflicto está plasmado en términos de identidad y territorio.
______________________________

Zully Sotelo is a Bogotá baseed artist and a specialist in photography. She is dedicated to developing and creating projects that empower the work of Colombian photographers and findind new talents through her work as an educator.

Zully Sotelo es artista plástica y especialista en fotografía radicada en Bogotá. Se dedica a gestionar y crear proyectos que empoderen el trabajo de los fotógrafos colombianos y encontrar nuevos talentos con su labor docente.