🔘 THE RED UMBRELLA GIRL IN UNUSUAL PLACES
➖ Cadu de Castro
➖ Bertioga – São Paulo / BRAZIL 🇧🇷
This essay, carried out in northern Argentina, in the provinces of Salta and Jujuy, has a clear aesthetic intent. I have looked for extraordinary scenarios characterized by natural landscapes that sometimes contrast with degraded, decadent, old or noisy human interventions or constructions.
But cultural landscapes are not unique characters. “The girl of the red umbrella” (the girl of the red umbrellas) is essential element of the test. It is subject of prominence and contrast with natural colors, or monochromatic composition in one or another image. The character is almost anonymous, given that little is seen of his face, and always wears clothes of neutral colors, to evidence the “red umbrella” (red umbrellas).
Therefore, I aesthetically use the singular forms, textures, colors and compositions that the nature of Northern Argentina offers, allied to the material culture of people who live or lived in the region, having as a thread “La Chica Del Paraguai rojo”.
On the other hand, in addition to aesthetics, this essay is intended to be ethical. What sensations does it cause? Surprise? Strangeness? Now, human presence in strange places tends to cause strangeness.
Historically, the dichotomy that divides and sometimes antagonizes people and nature (people X nature) has been constructed, as if we are not an integral and inseparable part of it.
Thus the intention is that the sensations aroused by the essay lead people to reflection. It is quite possible that the element that causes greater strangeness, perhaps discomfort – for being and being disconnected from nature – is the red umbrella. An object, at first glance, simple, simple and “innocent” that, however, to be produced, demands industrial activities such as mining, for metal parts; the extraction of petroleum, for plastic; and chemistry, for synthetic fabric and dyeing.
Therefore, the red umbrella contrasts, diverges and confronts the natural landscapes. And it is the current patterns of consumption, of the simplest, simplest and seemingly innocent things like the red umbrella, the most complex and elaborate, which print the destruction of places and natural landscapes. Mining is the great socio-environmental villain of this part of Argentina.
Perhaps you, as interlocutor, do not feel and think of none of this. Maybe what I meant to pass did not come to you. Perhaps he understands that all this is but a great daydream of someone who wants to be a photographer. You may not even appreciate this essay aesthetically. No, you’re not wrong. These sensations and interpretations are as legitimate as any others. So is art, open to all possibilities.
So I hope you enjoy … or not.
* The girl in the red umbrella is Karen Pimentel, wife, “model” and essential travel companion. Thank you very much for sharing with me ideas and actions, as well as for the effort to climb mountains and other peripécias to get the images. I confess that the most tense day was when he fell into a river of meltwater, which was very cold, and soaked his sneakers. He had to walk all day with his feet wet in a very cold place. Worse, we did not take any of the photos for this essay.
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