Tagged: andres marroquin-winkelmann

What I’m Reading.

A family in in Zapallal, a squatter settlement on the outskirts of Lima. (Image courtesy of Andrés Marroquín Winkelmann.)

I’ve been marinating in photographer Andrés Marroquín Winkelmann’s latest book Zapallal | Yurinaki for several days — a chronicle of two Peruvian communities that are connected by circumstance and economics, even as they stand worlds apart. Separated by the Andes, Yurinaki sits at the edge of the central Amazon. Zapallal is located on the outskirts of Lima, tucked into the dusty-apocalyptic hills that make up the Peruvian coast.

The latter settlement came into existence in the 1980s, after a series of economic crises and the country’s simmering Internal Conflict led hundreds of thousands of rural Peruvians to migrate to the capital. Many of the residents of Zapallal hail from or are in some way linked to Yurinaki. But they are connected in other ways, too: by poverty, by social class, by their lack of political power.

In these communities, Marroquín Winkelmann finds a rare beauty. A young man sits cinematically in a mototaxi. A cat howls from a rickety wood platform while a pig watches pensively. A little boy plays in a toy car without wheels; he has nowhere to go. Marroquín uses lighting to dramatic effect — even in daylight settings — for images that take on an almost baroque quality in tone and content. (Note the daughter, above, in an almost blessing-like pose with the fly swatter.)

In Peru — a country where nearly one in ten people live in extreme poverty, and nearly one in three live under the poverty line — the lives of the poor can seem almost like an abstract concept. But Marroquín takes the statistics and makes them human, recording dignity where most folks wouldn’t think to look.

Zapallal | Yurinaki is available at Dalpine. Plus, see some of the images from the series on Marroquín’s website. (The puny images on my blog don’t do it justice.)

Conditions: On Andrés Marroquín Winkelmann’s innovative new book.

'Conditions' allows the reader to view the images in various configurations.

It might seem straight out of Borges, but it is possible to read a book in two directions at once. Late last year, blogger Jörg Colberg of Conscientious, slipped me a copy of Conditions, a new book of photography that features the work of Peruvian-born photographer Andrés Marroquín Winkelmann. The book is actually two in one: it opens at the center — like a gift — and has two separately bound sections. These are side-by-side mini-books that that can be viewed individually or together — in left to right order, in right to left order, or both at the same time. Likewise, you can dip into either bound section at will. This allows the reader to study one image, create random pairings of images, and in some cases, admire photographs across four pages simultaneously, such as the image of the religious icons below (after the jump).

“I think the viewing experience of the book really puts the focus on the ideas behind the project: perception and self definition,” Marroquín explained to me via e-mail. “Even though I try to use the same ideas in a gallery exhibition of the work, the book’s format invites the viewer to interact with the images in a more personal and intimate way than is possible in a gallery.”

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