Photography in Argentina
Julio Pantoja — Sons and Daughters
Grupo Escombros — Signs
I had the pleasure of catching the Photography in Argentina exhibit at the Getty this weekend. It was a collection of photographs from 1850 until 2010. I’m not too familiar with photography in Argentina, so it was a great experience. It was a very politically charged exhibit. Argentia has had it’s fair share of troubled history, so this came as no surprise.
The first photo is from a collection called Sons and Daughters, by Julio Pantoja. He photographed the children of people who have mysteriously vanished under Isabel Peron’s reign. The second photo, Pancartas, or Signs, is by El Grupo Escombros, a group of Argentinian painters, photographers, and performance artists set on shining a light on current political and economical defects.
But perhaps my favourite section was the modern photography that showed the paradox of wealth exclusion. The section begins with Sebastian Friedman’s Segurismos, showing people behind gates and fences, voluntarily, physically showing us the division of social and economic status. The back wall contains Ananke Asseff’s photographs. It is a series of people holding guns, shining light on the unreasonable fear the upper and middle class have of the urban population, people living in the villas miserias — slums. This series is called Potencial – potential. It made me realize how this is not even a legitimate fear, just the potential for danger.
Right next to this collection is a set of Gian Paolo Minnelli’s photographs from the barrio. They show life from the ‘other side.’ The people the rich are so afraid of.
It was a perfect set-up. The exhibit highlighted the superficial division we place upon ourselves. Causing more of such divisions to come up again and again.
If you have a chance to see this, I highly recommend it!