Title: Para verte mejor, américa latina
Photographer(s): Paolo Gasparini
Writer(s): Edmundo Desnoes
Designer(s): Umberto Peña
Publisher(s): Siglo XXI Editores, Mexico City, Mexico
Size: 22 x 24 cm
Edition: 2nd Steidl, Gottingen, Germany, 2010
Print: Litoarte, Cuernavaca, Mexico
Nation(s) and year(s) of Protest: America >1972
If you have seen something - no matter in what corner of our America - that does not already have a place in this book, then we have failed. And perhaps we have. We set out to dynamite the asphyxiating class boundaries of what until today has been called "the visual arts" in Latin America.
We have tried to include the whole wide world of images that strikes, incites in our cities and towns. All the vast iconography of the continent: from the statue on the Plaza to the photo on an identity card, from the Indo-American sun gods, the deities of the African slave, the Tupamara cross and star to the blonde bather announcing a new sunbathing cream.
We have seen the visual history of the continent and its current sharp contradictions in this prolix world. We have treated each image in this visual field as an index of the values that today dispute the territory of Latin America. We have tried to cover a lot and to squeeze a lot. It may be here and there vulnerable to the bites of elitist aesthetics, of academic rigor; it was inevitable.
If in any way Our America is made visually more intelligible through these pages, we will have been useful. Useful for what? For the only enterprise that today deserves all our intelligence and all our effort: to unmask and kill the wolf before it forces us to consume ourselves by consuming ourselves.
"During the 1970s, the publisher Siglo XXI Editions, based in Mexico, Argentina and Spain, produced a number of photobooks with a radical political stance, using leading photographers from Latin America to talk about the region... the twin ideologies of capitalism and socialism. His stance on the matter is clear: he ends the books with the positive example of Cuba and how Fidel Castro revolution should be the model for the region. Gasparini, a photographer of Italian origin who lives in Venezuela, has a keen eye, like Walker Evans, for signs, posters and commercial advertising within the urban landscape, and he uses scrawled and painted political slogans that adorn walls everywhere to make his point about Latin America."
Parr & Badger