Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Guanajuato, Mexico Summer 2010: Context of the Work.

This post isn't so much about "photography" as it is about the "photographer". I want to give more of a context to the upcoming series of light paintings I'll post. The work soon to be shown, stands apart, but the story of my visit is equally a part of that time and place. Though words and not photographs, the background  remains imprinted in the foreground.

Guanjuato, Mexico is a very old Spanish Colonial city once prized for its silver mines, now emptied of their glitter. Its situated at a light headed altitude north west of Mexico City in the Central Mexican highlands.

The city climbs up an undulating bowl shaped valley. Lofty mountains, massive sentinels, encircle Guanjuato neatly, like a crater rim. The ancient narrow streets are very steep. Sidewalks and roads alike frequently disappear under higher parts through 40 miles of damp, dripping tunnels. The Mummy Museum is here and the Museum of the Mexican Inquisition. I've been to neither. I think those mummies stay preserved in the soil because there's a high content of metal. Guanajuato was the epicenter of immense social and political forces, and a palpable, indefinable presence lies about, and infuses the colorful city. But this essential quality I speak of, is neither historical or political in nature. Even in the brightest sunshine this sense of mystery - inert, primal and raw -remains. "A street map is like a plate of spaghetti" a smiling local school teacher told me over dinner.