Bite! magazine » South America

Between Ciudad Juárez, Mexico and El Paso, Texas, USA

This series of images accompanied by text is part of a larger installation called “Je suis la frontière” (I am the border) which encompasses a growing archive of audio and visual documents that explore the complexity of living in the US – Mexico borderland. The whole archive constitutes a personal cartography of El Paso and Ciudad Juarez, two cities that are at the same contiguous but divided by four international bridges. In her work, Vera seeks to challenge the limited and biased information that the media gives us about certain places in the world. She believes in approaching those places by listening to individuals, following their steps, and walking on the streets. She thus hopes to create a personal cartography of a place and to give presence to the voices and life stories behind the sometimes overwhelming statistics.

A Place Where You Can’t Say No

Acapulco is a place where you can’t say no. Elvis Presley said it this way in a song dating back to 1963 that had become popular a year earlier after the release of the movie Fun in Acapulco. In this installation project, the Mexican artist Pablo López Luz not only sheds light upon the topographic vision of different architectural structures and urban landscape but also to the classical imagery of a place full of glamour that has been vividly immortalized by the cinema and advertising industries.

Ironic Allusions To Our Relationship With The Desert

“In my photographs from the last few years, I have intervened upon the landscape, creating scenes or sets with a wide range of natural and manmade elements. In this way, amidst the sometimes oppressive vastness, I construct and photograph intimate spaces: some of them are metaphors for the painful desertification of the planet caused by man, while others work as ironic allusions to our relationship with the desert. The action I perform deals with reintegration: it’s a reflection on what the desert has lost, but also a way of restoring its ravaged memory through a personal intervention.”

A Kite Lifts The Camera Up Into The Air

Esteban Pastorino Díaz: “I wanted to create an ambiguous image that resembles the way we look at the scale models but which is actually a photograph of the real world. The main technical points that I defined for that were: the apparent short deep of field in the images, and the high point of view from which the images would be taken. The first effect is given by tilting the lens in relation to the film. For that I constructed a cardboard camera which has the lens in that position and fixed focus. To reach a high point of view, I use a kite that lifts the camera between sixty and four hundred feet up into the air.

Its Red Hue Became A Reference Of My Own Image

Isabela Lira: “This series – Sobremim (“About Me”) – has originated from a connection between my image and my hair. I noticed there was a connection between people’s perception and the colour of my hair, that generated almost an identity. Its red hue, very characteristic, became a reference of my own image. From that connection, I started to develop a series of work having my hair as the main focus. An instigating hair, invasive, which appropriated my identity. Hair that frames the face. And does it so much that it finally takes it, becoming my identity, a unique body, capillary.

Eternal loves, Disposable Loves, Conflicts, Separations

The series Love Story presents images that are a result of years of research on the impermanence and the affective relationships. A transitory instantaneous diary, using elements from nature and situations of daily life to talk about the several facets of love relationships. Eternal loves, disposable loves, finite and infinite, conflicts, separations and mismatches are part of this panel represented in a simple, metaphoric and poetic manner.

The Lyrics Make Explicit References To Sex, Drugs And Violence

Daniele Dacorso: “I have been photographing “Baile Funk” parties in favelas (slums) and suburbs of Rio de Janeiro for ten years now. Baile Funk music mixes American funk from the 70’s with samba rhythms and contemporary rap and the lyrics commonly make explicit references to sex, drugs and violence. As an observer of Baile Funk, I have always been fascinated by the choreographies, the catharsis and the seduction games between boys and girls, the audience and the artists on stage and the way they mix sex and humour into lyrics and dance.”

Ciudad Juarez Is At The Epicenter Of The Violence

Mexican drugs cartels are now fighting two fronts. The first involves the authorities, the second is against other cartels and is about controlling the smuggling routes. This is an extreme brutal struggle in which twentytwo thousand people have died so far. Torture, beheadings, mass killings, public executions and drive-by shootings have become normal. Cartels are competing each other in sadism and fierceness and the glorification of extreme violence is penetrating popular culture. Ciudad Juarez is at the epicenter of the violence. With 2600 people killed in 2009, seven victims daily, this city of 1,2 million people has become the most dangerous city in the world.

Construction Firms Built More Than 300,000 Houses

Alejandro Cartegena focuses his lens on the development in Northern Mexico in a series of projects from which this portfolio is drawn. The rapid modernization and quick pace of pre-fab construction threatens not only local natural resources but also the traditional culture of the region.

A False Veil Behind Which Lurks Death

Photographic oil paintings are hypnotic. The patina of paint is like a false veil behind which lurks death: there is a sense of evasion, as when applying make-up to a corpse prior to viewing. It is a trans-vested genre where the subject is further removed from reality by an additional mask. The photographic image is thus disguised by a technical mixture, but the result is still a hybrid inspiring a particular symbolic tension: that which is intended to be hidden remains present, and what is feigned will never actually happen.