Origins, Rations, Extractions

Origins, Rations, Extractions

October 5, 2017 – January 7, 2018
Project Space

Featuring Paula Luttringer and Gissette Padilla

BSC unveils a new exhibition focused on under-observed examples of two South American governments’ effects on place and people.

Argentinian photographer, Paula Luttringer’s photographs in Origins, Rations, Extractions include selections from two bodies of work, Lingnum Mortuum and Entrevero. Lingnum Mortuum looks at a particular landscape affected by government policy. Built in the 1920s, Villa Epecuen, hosted visitors from all over Argentina who came to benefit from the healing properties of Lago Epecuen, one of the saltiest lakes on earth. The infrastructure of the region was neglected during Argentina’s military dictatorship of 1976-1986, which resulted in the breaking of a dam that submerged the town in ten meters of water in 1985. Villa Epecuen remained underwater for 20 years until shifting weather patterns resulted in a drought, finally revealing the town.

In 2015 Luttringer began photographing the tree trunks of Villa Epecuen, which in her words were, “baked like bones in a desert and glistening with salt crystals.” She says, “The trees speak to me of the way people who have suffered trauma stride forward in their lives, embodying movement while some part of them has died.” While working on her project Lignum Mortuum, she made some double exposures. Later she returned to the contact sheet, curious about those tangled images. She saw different worlds superimposed on each other, haunted landscapes of broken trunks and unearthed roots layered texturally on each other as memory is layered which became the basis for her body of work Entrevero.

Luttringer is a survivor of political violence. She was kidnapped and held in a secret detention center in her native country, Argentina, in 1977. She fled immediately after her release and did not return until 1995 when she began using photography to interpret hers and others experiences there.

Born in the city of Coro, Venezuela, Gissette Padilla’s immediate family immigrated to the US when she was in 8th grade, leaving extended family and long-time friends. Drawing from this experience and maintained relationships with those still living in Venezuela, Gissette’s work centers on family history and the political reality following the Chavez dictatorship, including how it affects daily life.

Using painting, drawing, and various printmaking techniques, Padilla creates multi-layered amalgamations of real, distorted, and perceived experience built from fragments of personal photographs, memories, and found images.