Photo Essay: Spaces of contradiction

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Paula Graciela Kahn/Courtesy

Photographing makes me feel like the universe’s confidant — a witness to revelations birthed by organic scenes of life’s everyday chaos. My practice is motivated by the compulsive desire to communicate the non­verbal, the secrets inscribed into an environment’s arrangement. The arrangement(s) of people, images and objects are often dismissed as part of the “daily routine,” “the ordinary,” “the familiar.” But they may be defamiliarized if their interactive details are frozen at the peak of their drama. Live scenes contain juxtapositions of what we previously thought unrelated. These realms of the bizarre, spaces of contradiction, inviting utopias and apocalyptic dystopias shape my experience. In D.F. & Oaxaca in Mexico, Flores, Petén in Guatemala, and Buenos Aires and Bariloche in Argentina, these moments are uncanny. I believe that the colonial history of Latin America produces a visual, magical realism that is “strange or mysterious, especially in an unsettling way, otherworldly, not natural, eerie.” The Borderlands of Latin America are wrought with plot twists, melancholy, resilience, inequality, tragedy, humor, resistance, vibrance, truth and triumph.

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