Fotos Encontradas (2007)

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Polaroid encontrada en la Ciudad Vieja de Montevideo en 2006 (Copiar).

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Fotos encontradas (Center for Photography, Montevideo) was a small exhibition of some of the more than two hundred pictures that I had have found in Montevideo’ streets between 2001 and 2007*.

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*I’ve been interested in these objects and the entire phenomenon of the abandoned and found photos for many years, and wrote about it an essay published in the Foto Club Uruguayo magazine CONTACTO. Now (in 2013) the FP archive has gone much bigger and I’m working on a new phase of the project and a book. The FP is a fundamental issue in various and interestings researchs in the art world, the anthropology and visual studies all around the globe, like Found Photo Foundation in England, a project of the portugueses artist Paula Roush. It is possible to find a lot of Internet sites dedicated to FP. Some of them, like this argentinian page offer some tools and useful links besides a beautiful collection. Talking about FE, the most attractive issue for me is that of the categories we can use for order and interpretate them. I first tried to read them as a corpus from formal, chronological, tematic and topographical points of view, but it is not enough. In this exhibition, I used other categories, focusing not the narratives but how these pictures challenge us from their specifical content and they teach us some things about how no-photographers think about photography, and the ways they face problems like beauty, interest and pose, and the functions of pictures like anchors of memory that people can use and rejecte as any object and also manipulate them, make them record and show the marks of expressive acts we can choose to look and keep, or not. And why not. So, the FP in the exhibition were distributed in entitled groups, each one of them facing some specific problem:  

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ON PUDEUR (OF SHOWING OTHERS’ LOST HAPPINESS):

 

ON WAYS OF RIPPING:

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ON BEAUTY:.

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ON HIGH PLACES:

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FACING THE CAMERA (ATTITUDE):

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ON THE PERSISTENCE OF SOME ANTIQUE METAPHORS:

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In addition, some pictures presents a difficult and sometimes uneasy point of contact with the recent history of the country, like the combination of this group of fragmented pictures with soldiers (where?, when?):

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with this image, that remains so “recognizable” and iconic, so “dissapeared”:

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Some pictures were found in books,

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and some others were lost in (or stolen from) the exhibition,

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Recently, I have worked around bigger groups of photos found in nearby places and collections. Some of them are a complete love story or the documents of a long journey. There is some strange quality in “abstract” examples like this, too,

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and an estrangement in a curious absence in some puzzled photos:

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Also, new and disturbing possibilities of ripping:

 

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and incredible works of chance and outdoor conditions:

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Interview with the author, TV Ciudad, 2007.

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