PORTRAIT OF A LANDSCAPE
July 2020 - The subsuelo gallery, in Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina, presents the work of the Argentine photographer Matías Sarlo where the plain works as a motif, atmosphere and even character.
The exhibition is accompanied by a text written by Gabriela Muzzio:
There are two classic genres and as old as the very desire to represent them. Inexhaustible in the flow of time, they give rise to the constant need to return over and over again.
Matías goes through both without being a mere spectator of the events. He uses them to produce a series of necessary images that depict, from a critical, poetic and loving vision, the metamorphosis and destiny of a territory. That space inhabited by the resistance of those who share the cycles of nature, the seasons, not as a final destination but as a constant starting point, is their home.
Plain and pampa are synonyms of a distant infinity, a story with two faces: one stripped of pretension, austere and as simple as that line that divides heaven from earth, the other , which does not understand the first.
Matías is like an invisible and methodical payador who dedicates time to the perhaps inexorable transformation of the land, with the desire both to be a witness and to be able to name it.
Matías Sarlo is a photographer born in 1979 in a small town on the Buenos Aires plain. Since he was little he was intrigued by images and their ability to create nonverbal discourses. He began his experience with photography working in the graphic press: for seven years he traveled through newsrooms of different newspapers and magazines. During 2009, he began to photograph rural culture in the Argentine plain, thinking that the work would culminate in 30 years.
It is not clear if the plain is a landscape, a culture, a state of mind or a feeling, he tries to decipher it by creating a personal map made up of series in different formats and techniques typical of a time of technological mutation. He is interested in photography, its narrative possibility and its ability to evoke, and how the combination of these two characteristics can create critical discourses that allow us to overcome short memory. Some series are published in small books that he sells to finance the project. "A book is as subjective as the act of photographing, I am fascinated by the production process, manual work and selling it hand-to-hand at fairs and gatherings," explains Matías.
He works producing documentary records of projects for different foundations and NGOs such as The Open String, Universidad del Litoral, Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo, CONICET or C.E.L.S. among others. He also exhibited in Buenos Aires, Rosario and Tucumán.