Jaroslav Kocián, Sisters, 2007
Bratislava Month of Photography 2007
As usual, the program of the 17th Month of Photography in Bratislava included several exhibitions by world famous artists. This time around these included the photojournalists of Magnum, which celebrates its anniversary, and the French multimedia artist Georges Rousse; still, the largest part of the 35 exhibitions presented as is traditional works from Central and Eastern Europe. Following on from last year, when the festival’s main themes included Asian photography, this year the event presented photography from Latin America.
Among the best exhibitions of the entire festival was Open Maps, put together by the Spanish curator Alejandro Castellote. This was a truly representative selection of artists drawn from a number of South and Central American countries, including works by both internationally renowned photographers and visual artists working in photography, such as Miguel Rio Branco, Vic Muniz, Mario Cravo Neto, Luis Gonzáles Palma or Marco López, as well as works by artists as yet little known in Europe. In spite of all the global vogues, Latin American photography preserves many specific traits of its own, such as the co-existence of Catholic and indigenous religious motifs, its responsiveness to current political and social issues, and the popularity of Surrealism as well as the frequent eccentricity of staged scenes. This was exemplified also in a solo exhibition of Paula Luttringer, who metaphorically rendered the walls of the cell where thirty years ago the women who resisted the Argentine military dictatorship were secretly held and tortured.