10 questions with the photographer Lorena Marchetti

Nov 15, 2013 Comments Off on 10 questions with the photographer Lorena Marchetti by

By Verónica Sanchis, translation by Vincent Nadeau

This November, Ventana Latina had the opportunity to interview Lorena Marchetti, a photographer based in Argentina and Buenos Aires based photographer specialising in the urban landscapes of Latin American cities. Marchetti is currently in the process of developing her photographic project Periferias (Peripheries), which involves the visual study of Latin American peripheries and landscapes.

Lima, Peru 2013

Marchetti was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in February 1976. In 2000, she graduated as a graphic designer from the University of Buenos Aires. The Argentine photographer is currently directing the program for contemporary artistic practices, organized by the Gachi Prieto Gallery for Latin American Art. In 2012, Lorena was nominated for the ITAÚ Cultural award for visual arts.

From 2010 until 2012, Marchetti attended Diana Aisenberg’s painting workshop. In addition, she has conducted studies and discussion workshops with the following visual artists: Gabriel Valansi, Diana Aisenberg and Guillermo Ueno. In 2006, she participated in the scholarship of the Fondo Nacional de las Artes (FNA) with Alicia Romero and M. Gimenez.  

From 2002 to 2006, she directed collaborative and designing tasks for the PH15 Foundation. PH15 is a space for creativity and expression through photography, dedicated to children and adolescents living in the Villa N15, also called the ‘Hidden City’, one of the many slums of Buenos Aires.

Since 2005 Lorena has participated in collective and solo shows, exhibiting in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, England and Peru in venues including: Itaú Cultural for Visual Arts- São Paulo, Pinta-London (Earls Court Exhibition Centre), Photo Lima in Peru and the Odeón in Bogota, Colombia. Her work is part of private collections in Argentina, Colombia and Peru.

Lorraine Marchetti is represented in Argentina by the Galerí Studio 488.

To enjoy her work, you can also visit her website: www.lorenamarchetti.com.ar

Lima, Peru 2013

Ventana Latina: What inspired you to become a photographer?

Lorena Marchetti: The realization that photography was ultimately the apparatus, as well

as the most complete format, for me to understand, to connect, and to make sense of this world, to find myself, to chat, to fall in love, and to be…

VL: What motivated you to photograph Periferias in Latin America?

LM: I have been working since 2011 on a series which captures Latin American peripheries and landscapes. I’ve always dedicated my work to documenting urban spaces and cities; however, what I started doing in 2011 was to change the geographical perspective, with specifically chosen elevated viewpoints associated with a meticulously chosen chromatic palette. Everything expands and spreads out with height, from a bird’s eye view, just as it does for travelling painters or the incidental tourist.

Prior to 2011, my depictions were much more detailed, zooming inside private worlds of smaller and subtler actions.

VL: What are your impressions of Lima?

LM: It’s an incredible city with great contrasts in every way; a place where the extremes of both beauty and chaos cohabit: coast and mountains, greenery and desertic coastal rocks, snow, blurred boundaries, social contrasts. It’s demographic chaos, urban organization and dissonances expanding into the desertic rocks of the periphery, generating fresh urban conditions daily and new landscapes which unavoidably provoke further reflection.

The popular or new neighborhoods, which emerge out of nowhere and which, just like corals, form a sort of reef, become epicentres and informal settlements making up the mosaic of the city, thus creating unique landscapes. The sandy, rocky chromatic palette of Lima, with its contrasting range of colours, makes it a very special city.


Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 2012


VL: Have you always photographed landscapes?

LM: Yes. As I always say, these are pictures of the places I visit, inhabit and experience. They form a kind of intuitive web of routes and maps. Territories which vary depending on its authors and actors, as do its political and social geography, its habitats and cultural uses.

VL: Which Latin American cities will your project Periferias cover, and why?

LM: I’ve already assembled pieces and series in the cities of Bogota and the suburbs of Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, and I’m also in the process of editing material from the city of Santiago, in Chile. Ideally, I would like to cover and/or visit as many cities as possible in Latin America. I would be interested in designing a referential cartography of intuitions, social patterns, transformations, and urban experiences which generate discussions on the concepts of space, context and culture.

VL: How do your photographic projects evolve from theory to practice?

LM: It’s a process which involves various successive steps, from the capture to the editing process, eventually resulting in the choice of which photo will form part of the sequence. The capture is the product of the long intuitive walks I take when visiting a new space or city. Then comes the arduous process of editing, and finally I move on to the process of post-production and retouching of selected images, which in due course will form a sequence.


Buenos Aires L Marchetti

Buenos Aires, Argentina 2010-2011


VL: Are you currently working on a new project?

LM: Yes, I’ve just finished editing the new series taken in Bogotá, Colombia which will be exhibited at the end of October at the Odeón’s International Art Fair in Bogotá. I’m also finishing the editing process for the photographs taken in Santiago de Chile. I would like to continue this adventure with the enigmatic city of Montevideo, Uruguay.

VL: Tell us how it feels to photographically document a city which is not your birthplace.

LM: That’s the advantage and disadvantage of an outside gaze: in my case, by appealing to the amateur curiosity of an incidental visiting tourist, who can all of sudden be surprised and distracted. It’s the permanent record of ‘everyday life’ as the bearer of a great cultural richness. This outsider position also allows me to work with the closeness and remoteness inherent in these registred images.

VL: Have you ever thought of mixing different artistic media with photography?

LM: Yes, as a matter of fact I’m very interested in painting and the possibility of combining both languages. For now I only combine visual elements in photographic language.


Buenos Aires, Argentina 2010-2011


VL: Have you ever considered developing a photographic project with the same perspective in Argentina, as it is your home country? 

LM: Yes, but I believe it would be take me more time in Argentina to develop the same freshness and fluidity I usually manage to find in other places and cities.



VL English

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