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1977, Buenos Aires,  Argentina




La creciente


The Paraná River is the second in second in length only to the Amazon River among South American rivers. The name Paraná is an abbreviation of the phrase "para rehe onáva", which comes from the Tupi language and means "like the sea". It merges first with the Uruguay River to form the Río de la Plata, the widest river in the world. At the end of the Paraná the river splits into several arms, creating a network of islands and wetlands, the Paraná Delta.
Alejandro has lived in different islands of the Parana Delta during three years, far away from the city, absolutely connected with the river, nature and the local people living in the island. Influenced by books and projects that tell about the great Paraná River, Alejandro began to observe how the people there lived and worked in a natural environment in which the preponderant element is water. Every day he crossed the Paraná in a motorboat, meeting island residents here and there—on the wharf or in some store or gas station. This allowed him to get to know the islanders sharing with them the same daily life. It took months to gain their trust.
Some of the islanders work in the tree—felling season, they are fishermen, hunters and or farmers, but most are isolated without any kind of communication except the River. The tides control the life of the islanders: with the high tide, they can travel through the small rivers and islands to pick up the wood felled before. With the low tide, they can collect rushes at the shore. The Delta region used to be one of the major fruits producer of Argentina, but after some big floods during the last century, most of the people have left these islands.
This is a community whose existence is often ignored and most of them live under marginal economic conditions. Alejandro has portrayed their everyday lives by staging scenes during long time exposures in the night. Families, fishermen, sailors, loggers, and hunters are part of this portrait of the islands illuminated by the full moon. Working with a large format camera and preferring shots that include people, water, sky and vegetation, creating each photo required long exposure times that forced subjects to remain motionless for as much as ten minutes.
By exploring these places through photography, the artist exhibited the extraordinary visual and poetic impact of the river and the intimate relationship between the Paraná Delta's community and its environment.



Otsuchi Future Memories
Following the most powerful earthquake ever to hit Japan, the sheer scale of the tsunami that smashed into northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011 –together with the nuclear disaster that came along with it -, was unprecedented. Coastal communities were devastated by waves, which at their highest reached 40 meters above sea level, traveling up to 10 km inland.
The fishing town of Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture, Japan, was probably the most destroyed by the tsunami. There, roughly ten percent of the population was killed or went missing and sixty percent of residential buildings sustained damaged. In the midst of such chaos and disorder, people started to recover the family photographs they found in the debris of city, trying to keep safe the memory of Otsuchi.
This project presents a visual documentation of destruction and loss, by connecting portraits of the Otsuchi survivors with family photographs recovered from the waters, swept away by the tsunami. The survivors of Otsuchi were portrayed in the spaces where their former homes and workplaces were located. The importance of the colors becomes crucial in this approach. The colors from the destroyed photographs - deformed and blurred images, altered by the effects of the salty water, sometimes creating new colors or mixing the former ones - are revalued on an exercise of color archeology, where each of the colors found in the destroyed photographs were used to colorize the portraits of the survivors.
The tsunami caused considerable material damage, killing people and destroying entire communities, but above all, the survivors also face the intangible loss of their own memories and identities, in which family photographs play a fundamental role.



Laberinto by Elisabeth Biondi

Alejandro Chaskielberg grew up in Buenos Aires. Perhaps because he lived in an urban environment, nature, once discovered, became his inspiration. In 2014, he travelled with his one and a half year old daughter Lara to remote Patagonia, where he discovered the El Hoyo labyrinth. He was mesmerized: The labyrinth seemed to transform everyone who meandered through it. Children became elfin, adults became childlike. Everyone seemed under a spell as they made their way through the maze.

Created by Claudio Levi and Doris Romera, it was a symbol for nature regained. Claudio was from Buenos Aires had settled in El Hoyo, next to El Bolsón—a counter-culture community, which had attracted individuals from all over the world. He met and fell in love Doris who had grown up nearby. Together they planted the labyrinth on land ravaged by fires caused by drought in 1987. Over the years a number of fires had burned savagely and had spread instantly through invasive pine trees, which had been planted by national government for fast growth in the 1970’s.

For Chaskielberg, the labyrinth was a timeless place. He decided to take nighttime pictures using the lighting technique he had created for his earlier award-winning Paraná River Delta project on which he worked from 2007-2010. Cinematic lighting, particularly the nighttime scenes of Peter Greenaway’s 1988 film Drowning by Numbers, was his inspiration. The photographs were made with different lanterns, at full moon only, in exposures of about 10 minutes. He soon realized, however, that in order to capture the labyrinth’s power of transformation, he had to reach beyond documentary photography and decided to crate his own cinematic scenarios.

Chaskielberg, a photographer who also works as a cinematographer, decided to put to use his cinematic experience to fully capture the magic of the labyrinth. Inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, which famously concludes in a hedge maze, he took on the role of director. He created scenarios – he painted trees, used torches, moved people around, had them pretend to sleep on the ground and stretch out on the top of the hedges. In effect, he created a magical piece of land art that he then documented.

Chaskielberg’s photographs visualize the feelings people experience while wandering through the giant maze. He created tableaus and made light visible. The images are spectacularly beautiful and seductive, showing us the transformation –and the fragility – of nature





21.6.18  - 28.7.18

Alejandro Chaskielberg 
Otsuchi: Memories of the future

Otsuchi provides us with a document of the consequences of the Great East Japan Earthquake (Higashi Nihon Daishinsai) that hit the Japanese country in March 2011 and subsequently produced a tsunami, devastating the city of Otsuchi in the Iwate prefecture.

At the beginning of the project, the images are an accumulation of garbage and remains as a product of the catastrophe. The accumulation of materials (wood, plastics, rusted iron, ropes, etc.) is presented to us in fragments and visually challenges us with an outer depth.

Long and nocturnal exposures seem to establish a pact with time and give rise to a state of reflection towards the image. Time is the protagonist in the whole project. The photographer seems to open, in these lapses of photographic construction, standing in front of what he portrays, a small portal where the light, the wind, the desolate solitude of what the images represent and the gaze of those he portrays (who while waiting to pose, think and remember feeling the time and the wave passing again) allow themselves to be. The images then become an accurate reflection of the subject they expose.

Regarding the use of color, the artist has managed to take his relationship with photography to a new field of experimentation by completely abandoning the use of referential and documentary color. Instead, using the color palette of the file images in the book, he has decided to color the images produced by himself. That is, he uses the colors of the past to paint the images of a present that allow the future. The color in the book then becomes the bridge that gives coherence to all the material. He sacrifices the spectacularity of the color of the present to the melancholic color of the past.

The truth of Otsuchi is not in its remains, but in its people. They are its memory and its future. Nothing else matters, because there is no material heavier and stronger than memory and its projection in the time to come. The project insists on this concept: the bases and pillars of a society are its people. Every sanctuary accuses an architectural gesture of protecting memory and Otsuchi: Future Memories does exactly that.

The central element in the project is the relationship established in the images where the subjects pose on what their houses were. Visually, these rectangular foundations reveal the ground of a home. But they are much more. They are those pieces of the puzzle that Chaskielberg builds. The photographic format (that proverbial rectangle of light) is also implicit and cited in those grids. The concrete bases are the past, as photography is, and on them, the survivors and their hope stand.

Fragment of OTSUCHI, Photography stands up, by Martín Bollati - 2016






Alejandro Chaskielberg (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1977)


Alejandro Chaskielberg is known for his night photography. Along with his long exposure shots, he combines moonlight with artificial lighting sources to experiment with colors. He walks through the scene painting different areas with the flashlights. His portrayed pose at night for several minutes. According to the artist, in that nocturnal silence, in that prolonged time while the camera is photographing something of the nature of energy, of magic, is produced.

Chaskielberg graduated as Director of Photography from ENERC. His first book La Creciente received the BURN Emerging Photographer Grant from the Magnum Foundation, and his second publication Otsuchi Memorias del Futuro, the RM Fotolibro Iberoamericano Award. In 2017 he edited his photo essay Laberinto.


In 2011 he was named Photographer of the Year at the Sony World Photography Awards and received the highest accolade, the L'Iris D'Or [Golden Iris]. Similarly, in 2010, he won the POYi - International Image of the Year Award for Best Latin American Portrait, and in 2009 the New York magazine PDN [Photo District News] named him as one of the thirty emerging photographers worldwide. He received the Leopold Godowsky Jr. Award from Boston University which recognizes excellence in the field of contemporary color photography. In 2008 he was invited by the National Geographic Society to participate in the All Roads Photography Program. He also received the Talent Latent award from the SCAN festival in Spain.


Her work was featured at the Ballarat International Photography Biennale (Australia 2015), the Daegu Photography Biennial (South Korea 2014) and the Brighton Biennale curated by Martin Parr (2009). He has also exhibited at numerous festivals such as the New York Photography Festival (United States), the Paraty em Foco festival (Brazil), El Ojo Salvaje (Paraguay =, Nordic Light Festival (Norway), Noortherlicht Festival (Holland), International Festival of Goa (India), the Lumix Festival for Young Photojournalism (Germany), Cortona on the Move Festival (Italy) and the Tokyo International Photography Festival.

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