OCT 27, 2021 - JAN 20, 2022

Caribbean Dialogs

We invite you to experience #Dialogs, an interwoven photo artists’ co-curated exhibition, curated by Fabian Goncalves Borrega.

For the Dialogs project, AMA’s Fabian Goncalves facilitates a variation on the usual role of a curator, providing a twist on conventional concepts of how exhibitions are built. Here he initiates a process in which a group of artists select pairings of each other's works, creating their own multi-layered narratives. Stimulating the conversation among this small network of artists, we pivot from a vertical to horizontal curatorial practice, we reinforce lateral contributions and visual syntheses, and we question the monolithic idea of authorship. Goncalves notes transformative visual dialogs among the four selected series of photo artists. This exhibition will be the result of his facilitation of these artists building dialogs with one another.

JAN 30, 2020 - APR 16, 2020

Museum: A Haunted Medium

These three artists Paula Pedrosa, Brazil; Traer Scott, United States of America; and Andrés Wertheim, Argentina; wander into museums looking to capture the visitor’s interaction with museum pieces and dioramas, creating a new piece where this interaction manifests itself in a haunting image. Natural history and art museums, gallery spaces, and theme parks are all mediums that encourage interactions that, in turn, create expectations. These grand expectations are resolved by the magic of communication that occurs in the dialogue between the viewer and the viewed.

Medium is described by the dictionary as simply a middle state; something that is intermediate between two qualities or degrees. It can also mean a person or an object that acts as an intermediary; channel or conduit of communication.1 As Traer Scott says “every image is like solving a mystery that I didn’t know existed.” 2 Scott captures the interaction between the human ghostlike reflection on the glass and the frozen motion of animals in action as part of ornate wildlife landscapes of the natural history dioramas.

In Paula Pedrosa’s images, interactions between the natural and artificial as seen in dioramas of wildlife are captured. These scenes depict staged and cripplingly decorated interior jungle-like and rain-forest landscapes painted on walls, glass, windows, and doors. These fantasies are reinforced by fake rock formations and props, creating expectations based on the fantasy of the recreation of life as it was.

Similarly, Andres Wertheim integrates these concepts into his work: “I merge in one photo frame both planes of the visible reality - the audience in a museum’s room and the portrayed characters on the same room’s walls -trying to create a dialogue between them. When the fusion works, I feel that the “spirits” of the museum have finally allowed me to see them.” 3

Through this exhibition interactions between the living and the dead, the past and the present, and the natural and the artificial create a shared dialogue about the function of museums and displays in the human experience as it relates to the past and our environment. As Professor and curator, Alasdair Foster puts it, “It is our mortality that measures time, not theirs. They haunt us not because they are dead, but because they endure while we do not. We are the imaginative means by which they converse in this later-day agora. But, in the fleetingness of our existence, it is perhaps we who are more truly ghosts in the museum.” 4

Fabian Gonçalves Borrega, Curator

1 Nead, Lynda. The Haunted Gallery: Painting, Photography, Film c.1900. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007. p. 1. 2 Blue Sky Gallery. Natural History- Traer Scott. Portland, OR: Blue Sky Books, 2015. 3 Wertheim, Andrés. The Museum's Ghosts. www.andreswertheim.com. 4 Wertheim, Andrés. Los Espíritus Del Museo. 1a ed. Ciudad Autónoma De Buenos Aires: La Luminosa, 2018. p. 16-17.

OCT 24, 2019 - JAN 17, 2020

Intimate Cartographies: An Approach to Interpersonal Relationships

Cartography and photography are similar in that they both originate from a naturalistic reality. But this representation is not exact, it is mediated. Depending on the technique and means used, the representation will be subjective. The images in this exhibition hold a subtle informative quality, closely connected with the lyrical documentation of Walker Evans, "where many of his landscapes were not documented but created by him." In its subtle, lyrical way of transmitting the cardinal information, the selected images refer to a place that did not always exist, and that is not necessarily a physical place, contributing to the creation of a personal and intimate cartography by the viewer. As part of the OAS’s Secretariat of Hemispheric Affairs, AMA aims to highlight the four OAS pillars —democracy, human rights, security, and development— through the visual arts of its member and observer countries. Fabian Gonçalves Borrega, Curator


Visions & Reflections
Roberto Fernández Ibañez

The works of the four selected series (three of which do without the camera as an instrument to create images) reflect the artist's concern for the coexistence of humans with nature, the knowledge derived from observing it, and the use of the photographic medium as a material that not only changes when it is exposed to light, but can also be transformed, tuned and textured by techniques and laboratory processes. This is the conceptual line and central part of the artistic discourse in almost all the work of Fernández Ibáñez.

The present-day glance into the series Rara Avis reveals a vision of an invented reality, where the photographic images of birds with prehistoric reminiscences are not a reflection of nature, but a fictional recreation of it: assemblages of organic materials found in the forest, based on observation and reflection on adaptation to the environment. After the image is captured in film, the photographic prints are chemically manipulated and mechanically intervened. The leaves and branches that flew from the tree to the ground in a single descending trip, allude to the flight of (im)possible birds that once settled on them.

The contact with the primitive, the origins of art and the interaction with the environment is manifested in the series The Hand - (In the Red Cave), in which in his laboratory, with an oil lamp as a source of light and with reactions on the photographic paper, the author recreates the supposed rock paintings and rocky textures that he discovered in a cavern (which remains hidden) during his walks through Uruguayan lands.

In reference to what the future may hold, the Melting Point series alerts us to how human activity is irreversibly affecting the planet. In this work, the author reproduces graphics of the melting of Antarctic ice and sea level by manipulating the emulsion of photographic paper (silver gelatin), obtaining colors through chemical reactions, and leaving us in an ambiguity between the beauty of the tones of the ice and the ecological tragedy.

The Terrestrial Resilience series calls us to a positive awareness, in which we are responsible for restoring the damage caused to our planet. Using the Kintsugi technique as a metaphor, he reflects on the potentiality of recovering without hiding our scars.

As Fernández Ibáñez expresses in his own words: "I trust both earthly and spiritual resilience. It is possible that our planet is a living entity, capable of resisting and remedying the blows received. But beyond that circumstance, I think that the time has come to amend the fissures, to cauterize the wounds that we have caused, and that after going through a stage of 'Kintsugi of life,’ let us take the world into our hands with loving care, avoiding what one day we might not be able to repair. It's all we have, it's all we are."

Fabian Gonçalves Borrega, Curator