The presence of the observer before the work constitutes an essential element in the work “Itineraries” by Matilde Marín. It is an assemblage of photographs in which the artist documented her shadow over several years (starting in 1993) and in various parts of the world.
Presented on a wall of approximately 10 feet, the large format carries a sense of human proportion that makes us accomplices, as if we were in front of her own shadow. The work reflects a nomadic life, with photos that constitute a visual and personal travel diary.
The artist’s dark projections on the floor are intimate and simultaneously anonymous, with the sensation of being and, at the same time, not being. In that sense, despite communicating in an almost pictorial way, it is still a work in photography, that process that incorporates place and time, freezing moments that have already passed.
For Artnexus International
Panama City, 2002
For many years, and as a roadmap, Matilde Marín fulfilled a ritual on each trip: she photographed the shadow of her body on the place where she arrived. It was an interesting way of giving testimony through the resource of lack: she recognized herself in that dark hole defined by a contour of silence, in that summary way that she summarized events and illusions and that she was already speaking of a diaspora. Not necessarily theirs, but that of so many millions who from then on have been the protagonists of massive displacements to one and the other side of the planet. It was the 1990s, when the debate on identity and postcolonial studies dominated the art scene and the politics of globalization displayed its inaugural devices. The images were repeated until they formed a spelling, a diagram of absences on an ever-changing background: thus Itinerarios was born, a suite of 46 photographs taken between 1993 and 2001 and that, that last year, won the Grand Prize of the VII International Biennial of Ecuador basin. The dimensions of the complex are expanded or contracted according to display needs, like a living organism that adapts to new habitats.
Text excerpt from the essay for the publication Matilde Marín: Archaeologist of herself
Asunción, Paraguay, 2017