During the early days of photography, its practice was reserved for professionals, that is, commercial photographers. The procedural equipment was expensive and to operate it required notions of physics and chemistry, as well as the ability to combine them. It was only in the 1870s that advances began to appear that released the photographic technique with enthusiasm, as it is expressed in the full meaning of the term amateur, that is, with and for the love of art.
Towards the end of the 19th century, amateur societies with a clear group conscience and attitude of commitment began to appear in Montevideo, which sought to keep photography away from any commercial purpose.
Therefore, people started to use photography not only as an artistic expression but also as a way of highlighting social environment and its issues. An example of these new positions took place in 1940 when a group of young people formed the FOTO CLUB, made up of Sylvia Julber, Marcelo Issarrualde, Edgardo Bentura , Diana Pintos or Dina Mines any many, many more.
Its members rejected various aspects of the typical photography of photoclubism, ranging from the selection criteria of the jury to the predominant techniques (the “rigid frames, "And the emphasis on procedures" artistic", Like the solarized one), which catalogued from recipes. The new photojournalists questioned the guidelines and modalities of evaluation.
“We wanted to show something different, we looked for the shock. They were not the typical photos of the beautiful landscape, rather the opposite "
It turned out that you don't have to be a professional, you don't have to work on editing, you can add meaning in the caption, and you don't really have to give the caption, you don't have to learn composition, you don't have to leave the house to make the material ...
Of course, I'm exaggerating a bit but starting in 1987, a new stage emerged, the FC. Annular exhibitions are institutionalized: the Anniversary Salon, which reflects the spirit of the time and which has been able to adapt to different space-time contexts, and the Portfolio Salon, created to promote the work of emerging authors. The two rooms have changed their selection dynamics, adapting to more contemporary methods.
Here is our own selection of favourite photographers and images from Uruguay.
An interesting look at the solitude is the extraordinary photo of Marcel Issarrualde from what it seems to be a walk on the beach. Loneliness in arts, in photography, is rather focused on action, an audience, an event. And here is a powerful and silent photo. Peace and quite reduced to a frame behind the bars. I just dream, if such photos could be published, I would be more willing to reach for the press about the current issue of a global pandemic.
For several years, Edgaro Bentura has been travelling around Uruguay and photographing in black and white. It is an important and effective decision. Since it all looks a bit like "sometime", we focus on the message and inevitably these kind of works require more from the viewer. Here, he has been observing children dressed so adult-like, walking on an empty road to what it seems to be adulthood. Whatever the metaphor, day after day, he creates a testimony to the daily celebration of childhood, full of enthusiasm and close relationships with other people. He manages to stay fleeting. Makes it universal and discovers the most intimate moments.
The photograph by Diana Pintos is characterized by a lack of perfection but with deliberate precision, discipline in composition and attention to the structure of the presented subject. Here we have a road in front of us, It is the individual encounter with vastness, with years of the past, written in the structure of the road. Although a specific time and place are not written as a part of photographic representation, the more universal concept concerning landscape, space or the way of perceiving and experiencing nature, is reached in the essence of the photographed subject.
Text and photography selection: Marta Marszalek