Indomitable: Contemporary Photography from Chiapas
The evolution of photography in Chiapas has reached particular milestones that have worked as foundations for its current practice. The idea of Mexico as a far away, colorful, exotic and ancestral distant land, was constructed greatly due to the botanical, archeological and ethnographical registries from the nineteenth century. These particular characteristics were later on commodified for the consumption of the souvenir, a realm that opened doors for photo-journalism and later on strengthened along with the Zapatista movement in 1994. However, later initiatives (some of them from indigenous groups) have strived to revert that stereotyped portrayal of Mexico, created mostly by documentarists.
Over the last two decades, a multitude of scenarios, projects and publications have emerged, reactivating the concept of local traditions, while also including the ambition of global significance. Author photography has gained traction, while San Cristóbal de las Casas has seen the consolidation of a circuit of potential exhibition spaces, with connections both inside Mexico and overseas, allowing the development of previously unseen styles. In many cases, the artists themselves, and not the institutions, have acted as activists and creators of this new terrain.
But what are the new centrifugal forces that have emerged within artistic creation with the burst of this peripheral art? This exhibition presents an overview of Chiapas’ contemporary photography through images captured by young artists in search of new paths and answers. Far from attempting a “style from Chiapas”, the selection shows an array of diverse personal styles. Indomitable portrays a gaze that is now longer biased or sly. Indomitable is a declaration: “We are here and this is our world: diverse, unlimited and uncontainable, indomitable”.
Curatorial research & Coordination: Luis Enrique Aguilar & Roberto Campos-Ruiz
Museography: Leticia Pardo and Katherine Castañeda
Installation: Constantin Apostol