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21 August 2012

The Jan Mulder collection, An insight into Latin American photography

The Jan Mulder Photography Collection from Lima, Peru, started in 2002 as an adventure in the realm of visual creation in the medium, in all its diversity. Further motivation came from the successful initiative of establishing a center for the teaching and promotion of photography as art in Peru. The outlook has been consistenly international all along, with a keen eye on both contemporary and vintage works.

This exhibition comprises a selection of works by Latin American authors from the collection. In bringing them together, the aim has been to depict the vigorous—and young—photographic production from the region, and to succintly pinpoint the riches in the way of practices that characterize it. Analogue photography has its staunch practitioners and is still the source of outstanding images and prints. Digital tools have enriched the creative approach to latter-day image processing, affording photographers an added degree of involvement in the printing process.

Works have been chosen with particular attention to a spirit of elated rediscovery of time and place, that guides the collection almost from the moment it started. It showcases works of renowned Latin American artists and alternates them freely with works by promising young talents.

As will be evident to visitors, its outlook is far from being attuned to depictions associated with images recognizably related to news and political reportage.

It is more intent on embracing art proposals emanating from recent uses of documentary style, as well as enigmatic portraiture, and the possible allegorical character of image-archive constructions. The exhibition takes this perspective, and further enhances it with the inclusion of striking vintage works by authors from the history of Latin American photography in the collection.

The selection favours an appraisal of Peruvian photography, little known in either the contemporary or the historical plane. It is, nevertheless, one of the most solid traditions in Latin America.

Jorge Villacorta

Exhibition venue: Palais de l’Archevêché, Rencontres d’Arles 2012.