Today from our partner Art Practical, we bring you a review of photographer Paz Errázuriz’s work, on view through tomorrow at the Berkeley Art Museum. Author Danica Willard Sachs notes, “By immersing the viewer in the peripheries of Chilean society, into the brothels and gyms populated by socially isolated men, Errázuriz’s photographs not only put an individual face on oppression, they also highlight a resilience inherent in the human spirit.” This review was originally published on March 3, 2014.
In intimate, candid black-and-white photographs, Paz Errázuriz transports the viewer to another place and time: Santiago, Chile, in the mid-1980s. With General Augusto Pinochet’s brutal dictatorship as her backdrop, self-taught photographer Errázuriz set out to document people living largely in secret, on the fringes of Chilean society. Paz Errázuriz/Matrix 251 at the Berkeley Art Museum displays two of the resulting visual essays: La Manzana de Adán (1982-87) and Boxeadores (1987).
La Manzana de Adán documents a community of male transvestites working in underground brothels in Santiago and Talca. Made in collaboration with journalist Claudia Donoso, the resulting photographs were paired with passages relating the personal stories of the men, and gathered into a book published in 1990 after Pinochet’s ouster. The exhibition features thirty of the one hundred photographs that make up the series, appearing alongside excerpts from Donoso’s text.