Cartagena will premiere works of art created for this exhibition
Rochester, N.Y., January 9, 2020—The George Eastman Museum has announced a new photography exhibition, Alejandro Cartagena: Photo Structure / Foto Estructura, which will open on January 31, 2020, in the museum’s Project Gallery. Co-organized by the George Eastman Museum and the Chrysler Museum of Art, the exhibition will present the latest work, including several new pieces, by artist Alejandro Cartagena (Mexican, b. Dominican Republic, b. 1977). The exhibition and its accompanying audio tour will be presented in both English and Spanish.
For this latest body of work, Cartagena spent time sifting through landfills on the outskirts of Mexico City to collect thousands of discarded photographs—portraits, snapshots, and tourist views. Cartagena excises figures, faces, or other details from the found photographs and reconfigures the original compositions by either moving the cut fragments or removing them entirely. The altered photographs remain strangely whole and strikingly familiar, compelling the viewer to consider what gives a photograph meaning. His arrangements reveal that seemingly crucial aspects of an image are both central and incidental to our ability to understand the works.
Cartagena lives and works in Monterrey, in northeastern Mexico. His projects employ landscape and portraiture as a means to examine social, urban, and environmental issues. His work has been exhibited internationally and is part of public and private collections, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, the JPMorgan Chase Art Collection, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, and the George Eastman Museum. Cartagena is also a self-publisher and co-editor of photobooks and has been published internationally in magazines and newspapers such as the New York Times, Le Monde, and the New Yorker. He is the recipient of several awards, including the international Photolucida Critical Mass Book Award, the Lente Latino award in Chile, and the Premio IILA-FotoGrafia Award in Rome.
Cartagena will give a Spanish-language gallery talk on Friday, March 27 at 12 p.m., and the museum will host an English-language conversation on Saturday, March 28 at 1 p.m. with Cartagena and associate curator Heather Shannon.
Alejandro Cartagena: Photo Structure / Foto Estructura will be on view at the George Eastman Museum from January 31 through June 28, 2020. The exhibition will be on view at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia, from August 7 through January 3, 2021.
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