Daniel Chauche

Baile de los Mexicanos

TECHNIQUE Silver Gelatin
YEAR 1992

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In the eighties, Daniel Chauche began to take portraits of ordinary people from rural Guatemala: humble people, villagers dressed in their elegant regional dresses.

He took the photos in black and white, as if wanting to give them an anachronistic effect, of old things of yesteryear. He also put a cloth behind of the person portrayed. In doing so, it deliberately prevented the observer from establishing any relationship between the subject and its context.

Thus, by removing them from their daily environment, Daniel was able to give the villagers relevance, it can be said: the observer is fixed on the person and only in the person, who ceases to be part of the landscape and captures completely one’s attention.

Twenty-five years later, Daniel comes back in search of those people who he had photographed. He reencounters some of them; their faces now furrowed with wrinkles, their hair now thin and gray, with a trace of fatigue in their eyes.

He returns to re-photograph them, each posing with the original photo. The passing of time, which undeniably has left its traces, shows as well how in essence everything remains the same.

You do not even need the context. Daniel’s white background truncates any possible distraction. Just look at the expressions, from yesterday and today; to discover a structural condition that many consider normal because, it is often thought, “it has always been so.”

Seeing is believing.

Andrés Zepeda. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, July 13, 2016.

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