Mauricio Valenzuela was born in Chile in 1951. His photography is rooted in the social documentary genre and stands amongst the most original of the 1980s ‘golden period’ of Chilean photography. He joined the seminal association of independent photographers, AFI, that documented Chile’s violent dictatorship in the 80’s.
Valenzuela captures society’s tensions and its people through poetic, melancholic, spontaneous and unconventionally composed images. His visual narrative, shot mostly in an atmospheric condition of heavy fog and low light, encapsulates a climate of overwhelming despair and oppression that weighed on Santiago and its people under the military regime. Valenzuela works mostly in series, unconventional yet careful compositions of anonymous people, often with their faces cropped or obscured, as they hurry to disappear out of shot.
Valenzuela questions censorship and freedom of expression and what he chooses to show us in his images carries as much weight as what he chooses to conceal.
On view at Augusta Edwards Fine Art, Booth #D37, Paris Photo, 8-11 November 2018
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