For decades photography has been carving out different clichês for itself. We need to be aware of them to dismiss them. Artist Hito Steyerl contrasts the images of perfect people that appear in spam messages to the growing number of politically invisible or discriminated citizens. Photographer Camila Falcão presents the intimacy of transsexual and transvestite people, who have built a new type of feminism while their lives and rights are under threat.
Be wary of what you see and what others have seen on your behalf. For every photograph taken by Walker Evans and other top photographers, recording the efforts of the United States government to overcome the Great Depression, thousands of others were discarded and are only now being seen. Similarly, behind every hero from the Vietnam War, there are hidden Vietcong photographers who worked for their own cause and obstinately sought victory.
South African Guy Tillim presents us with the historical and urban layers of contemporary Africa, where the colonizers were replaced by dictators, and are now opening up to global capitalism. The product of positivist criminology, an archive of penitentiary tattoos gives us a snapshot of the stories of the American, Italian, Syrian and other immigrants who crossed ways in São Paulo in the early 20th century.
While the Portuguese artist Jorge Molder investigates the effects of chance, the Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto reflects on the human desire to fix time.
We look with fresh eyes at the masterly work of Manuel .lvarez Bravo, setting aside the exoticism that the Eurocentric view imposed on the artists of his country – a tension between modernism and nationalism, which is also present in the hitherto unpublished portrait of Oscar Niemeyer by Irving Penn.
It is important to keep one’s eyes open to see better and more freely.