FROM THE CENTER DIRECTOR In a country where intense colonial and racial privilege shape every imaginary, the representation of Latinos and Latino communities is often a distorting mirror. Fetishized, marketed, or pathologized, turned into markers of sensuality or suffering in the world of images, the individual and communal histories of Latinos risk becoming opaque and invisible even as the images multiply. Accomplished artists and photographers of color continue to contest those representations, even as they find it hard to penetrate markets and curatorial exclusions. The Seis del Sur photo collective change the frame, and the image. Six photographers began their careers chronicling the real life of their own Latino communities in the South Bronx when their neighbors and neighborhoods were being captured as mere victims or criminals of urban blight. The beautiful particulars, the faces, landscapes, and moments of their photographs of that time changed the scene, just as they have been changing the conversation around photography since their first show at the Bronx Documentary Center. Their work as photographers and photojournalists since then expands that project, yielding not only chronicles and portraits of Latino life, but a critical visual poetics that reshapes our thinking about photography and the image itself. I am proud to welcome Seis del Sur and particularly proud that this exhibition was designed especially for the KJCC at NYU. It is meant as a retrospective, an exhibition of contemporary work, a social documentary archive, and an intervention about the aesthetics and politics of representing Latino subjects, communities, and urban imaginaries. It is fitting that Seis del Sur brings the Bronx downtown, and finds its home here at NYU, in a university space that is a stone's throw from another important and intense Latino community on the Lower East Side. The photographers, some of whom are also journalists, critics, and activists, will be available throughout this term and into the spring to talk to NYU scholars, students, and classes about their work, its history, and its political and cultural context. Their work inspires and educates us. And reminds us that we are at the heart of a Latino city, whose communities continue to shape the future and the mission of artists, photographers, scholars, and universities. Ana Dopico, Director King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center at NYU
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Published on Oct 24, 2015
The program handout for Seis del Sur’s third group photographic exhibit “BARRIOS” at the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center (KJCC-NYU) on Oc...