Gaspar Pérez, Matraca
TRADITIONAL MUSICIANS FROM GUATEMALA SERIES
Since its inception, photography has been one of the best methods to document the history and lifestyle of societies and individuals. If we understand cultural manifestations as changing entities, and even more threatened of brutal extinction, we must think of photography as one of the resources that enable future generations to have a testimony of what tends to transform or disappear.
Aware of this, Daniel Hernandez Salazar has focused its work towards the registration of our time, capturing the culture, through it’s manifestations and actors. No one among those who know him has not perceived his sensitivity towards those things that have marked the eras and to those who have made them possible. Neither goes unnoticed his respect for that amalgam we might call “Guatemalan culture”, that is to say, his culture-very sly- and for that one belonging to all others who share with him the territory where he was born.
Within this broad perspective, Daniel Hernandez Salazar makes his series of Traditional Musicians from Guatemala, initiated with Anthropologist Alfredo Gomez Davis (+) project, then in charge of of cultural heritage at the Guatemalan Institute of Tourism. The strength of this series lies, undoubtedly, in that personal expression of the artist about the people who make traditional music in Guatemala. That Ixil personage holding his Matraca (rattle), as if clinging firmly to his culture; Martin Sic Tzul’s fixed and steady gaze; or the harmony and integrity of the three Garífuna “graces”, or the peace suggested by the petenero boy hugging his double bass, just to quote a few examples, manage to show Daniel’s need to reflect himself on each of his images…
Extract the text of Oscar Ivan. April 25, 1993.
DANIEL HERNÁNDEZ SALAZAR (1956)
Lives and works in Guatemala.
Photographer. Knight of the Ordre Des Artes et des Lettres. Minister of Culture from France.
Daniel Hernández-Salazar initiated his passion on photography during his studies in Architecture. During the 1980’s Guatemalan civil war, he worked as photojournalist for international agencies such as Agence France Presse-AFP, Reuters and the Associated Press-AP. Hernández-Salazar presently works as an Independent Photographer, focusing his interest on the human body, architecture and historical memory—the last becoming his main topic of work and activism. Although he masters digital equipments and techniques, Daniel remains loyal to the practice of analogue photography and darkroom, which he has never abandoned.
His work has been presented in more than 30 solo exhibitions and more than 40 group shows in North, Central and South America, Europe, Japan and Korea. For his artistic work in service of Human Rights he received in 1998 the Jonathan Mann Humanitas Award from the International Association of Physicians in Aids Care, and was named Knight of the Ordre Des Artes et des Lettres by the French Government in 2005. Part of his oeuvre has been published in two personal anthologies by Kage Shobo, (Tokio, 2006) and University of Texas Press (Austin, 2007), and has been featured in a number of art, academic and news publications, including the New York Times LENS Blog, Harpers, 6Mois, among others.
Since November 2012, his work is included in the permanent collection of the Kazerne Dossin Holocaust and Human Rights Museum in Mechelen, Belgium. He was curator and designer of his photo exhibition Genocide Dismissed, Guatemala a Silenced Tragedy presented at that Museum from Sept. 2014 until March 2015.
Since June 2015 Hernández_Salazar works on his photo project Guatemala se re(v)bela (Guatemala reveals/Revolts) which was presented in a big exhibition at Guatemala’s Aliance Francaise with great success.