Mariana Méndez

Country: Uruguay

Title:  XXIst Century Kinescope from the series Modern Bodies

Medium: Photography

Size: 0.30 x 0.40 m

The World's Women On-Line!

Méndez is a photographer who has concentrated on several subject matters like theater, music and carnival. She has worked as a photographer for many theater companies and for popular musicians. She is also a free lance photographer for magazines and newspapers. Méndez is among the best photographers in Uruguay.

She states: "I never thought I would be a photographer. I started over 10 years ago, and I never imagined that the so-called magic-moment would capture me. During this time I have experienced photography as documentation, as an expressive form, and as a part of other expressions. I am not referring to the "artistic" because it sounds redundant to me. The photographic art is one and one alone, regardless of the style; we know that a suggestive nude is no more artistic than the unusual beauty of a worker in a coal mine. I was surprised to discover the broad range of possibilities photography offers, until I realized how infinite it is for internal and/or external expression, in line with the time and one's own personal growth. I totally reject the affirmation of photography as a "true reflection of reality." The subjectivity of the photographer is always fully implicit in the shot, whereby reality ceases to be a universal truth and gives way to a fragment of the photographer's inner life. I feel that I have always been influenced by the different artistic manifestations to which I have had access - any list would be interminable. From a personal viewpoint, I don't think I have a "female" style, beyond the way in which my female sensibility marks me; I don't think photography or any artistic manifestation can be divided by sex. I do believe that there are different sensibilities -from one individual to another, more than from one sex to the other- and a lot of prejudice against allowing oneself to look into certain feelings or emotions. My creative process refers to the gradual progress it implies. For some time now I have felt the need to respect the internal moments of searching and reflection that are necessary for development to take place. This time of internal maturation allows me to obtain a more exact, fuller form of expression with authentic meaning. The "home" series includes the "AZ13" installation (Montevideo, 2000), which arose as a result of a truly autobiographical endeavor. Photography has been ever-present in my family, and through it I met my ancestors - some distant and others not so much so- and much of my otherwise unknown family history. The pace of life in my childhood led me to have an intense feeling of physical and spiritual uprootedness; not being there leads to non-bonds. I have for some time felt the need to internally and externally elaborate my history, in order to achieve, from a specific place, a full projection toward the future. I reconstructed my personal history from a current perspective, elaborating my present based on everyday things, stressing the concept of circle as a fundamental element in our lives: the circle of life, understood as a cycle of evolution or development; the family circle, giving it a dual antagonic value -protection/lack of protection, development/annulment, stimulus/curb - and as a generator of educational, religious, emotional subcircles; the current circle ("home"), the product of the historic interaction of the two previous ones and the pillar that is the point of departure for a new circle."

Her solo exhibitions in Uruguay include: AZ13, Engelman Ost Collection, 2000; Teatro Macció, San José, 2000; Alquimia, photojournalistic report on the Murga Contrafarsa, Museo Torres García; Circum and Cultura en obra, Ministry of Education and Culture, 1998; Circum, Museo Histórico Cabildo, Montevideo, 1997; Casa de la Cultura, Minas, 1995; Cuerposmodernos, Galería del Notariado, Montevideo, 1994; and Restaurante Lobizón, 1993.
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