PRINT INFO Series Title: Poblado Park. Date: 2009 to 2011 Medium: Photography. Media: Archival Pigment Print. Image 24” x 36” on 26” x 38” sheet. Edition of 4 + 1AP. AP not for sale.
Print is titled, dated, numbered, and signed on verso. Certificate of authenticity will be provided.
* * * STATEMENT
This series documents individuals who frequent Poblado Park, a popular nighttime hangout in Medellin, Colombia.
I believe I was unconsciously re-examining my identity after being exposed to daily discrimination as a Latin-American living in the United States since the 1980s. I wanted to remember and rediscover what it meant to be Colombian – visually - because that narrative had been misshapen in me by American media representations and personal histories.
I also found myself documenting individuals who were non-heterosexual because my memories of LGBTQ histories when I had left Colombia as a teenager were shockingly negative compared to the uneasy social tolerance I was seeing while creating the series. What I discovered was that a portrait may not be able to convey an individual’s sexual orientation not so much because a heterosexual like myself may lack knowledge of the telltale signifiers and/or because culture continues to repress many non-heterosexual individuals into misshaping or hiding their sexual identities. This effort left me with more questions about my lack of knowledge and experience and taught me that it is difficult to escape the institutionalized stereotyping we carry.
Inspired by a personal need for authenticity, I sought to photograph these individuals exactly as they showed up, and exactly as they wanted to represent themselves. With no make-up, lighting-set-up, or assistants of any kind, and with very little direction, the sessions were spare and intimate with only the individual and myself (my camera and tripod in hand) spending 10 to 15 minutes per session. All portraits were taken under available street light on account series started out as a technical exercise after I had experienced an actual Edward S. Curtis photographed of an American Indian in a gallery in Sedona, AZ . Poblado Park series took 3 years to complete.
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