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 Martín Chambi and his Contemporaries. The Andes Photographed
Self-portrait on the motorcycle of Mario Pérez Yáñez, first motorcycle in Cuzco. 1934 © Martín Chambi / Jan Mulder Collection

Martín Chambi and his Contemporaries. The Andes Photographed

Exhibition curated by Andrés Garay and Stefano Klima

01-04-2022 / 12-06-2022

Martín Chambi represents a turning point in Latin American photography in the first half of the 20th century. He dedicated his entire life to photography and his work was widely recognized in his time and in ours.

Of indigenous origin, Chambi (Coaza, 1891 - Cuzco, 1973) dedicated much of his life to photographing the Peruvian Andes, reclaiming the pre-Hispanic past through images of Inca ruins and portraits of life in Andean communities in the early 20th century. In this way, Chambi incorporated a new perspective to the local photography of the time, proposing a unifying view of Peru and shedding light on the indigenous discourses that were beginning to gain strength in this territory.

Panoramic view of Machu Picchu. 1928  © Martín Chambi / Jan Mulder Collection
Panoramic view of Machu Picchu. 1928 © Martín Chambi / Jan Mulder Collection

In 1924 he photographed Machu Picchu, being the second to do so after Hiram Bingham, who photographed it in 1913 for National Geographic magazine. From this experience, his work enters a new stage where his handling of light, form, space and texture, added to a very particular way of framing, make him an emblem of contemporary and documentary photography in Peru and Latin America.

In this exhibition, Martín Chambi's photographs will dialogue with works by photographers Irving Penn, Eugene Harris, Werner Bischof, Robert Frank, Pierre Verger, Max T. Vargas, Luigi Gismondi and Manuel Mancilla, among others, who visited and documented the areas of Cuzco and the Peruvian altiplano during the same period as Chambi. The confrontation of all these gazes expands the construction of the collective imaginary about the millenary Andean culture of that time, while at the same time showing the important legacy that marked the photographic production of their predecessors.

Peruvian boy with flute. 1954  © Eugene Harris / Jan Mulder Collection
Peruvian boy with flute. 1954 © Eugene Harris / Jan Mulder Collection

All the exhibition's images come from the Jan Mulder Collection, initiated in 2002 with the aim of promoting photography by contemporary authors, as well as preserving and disseminating historical photography from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Focused on the Latin American context, especially Peruvian, the collection also includes the work of outstanding photographers from the United States, Europe and Asia.

An important part of the prolific production of Peruvian photographer Martín Chambi is in the collection of Jan Mulder, which stands out for containing the largest legacy of original period photographs by this author.

Buy your online tickets HERE (partnership with Entradas de Vanguardia)