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Juan Manuel Castro Prieto talks about Chambi and his work on Peru
Woman strolling, Hatunrumiyoc, Cuzco © Juan Manuel Castro Prieto / VEGAP

Juan Manuel Castro Prieto talks about Chambi and his work on Peru

Wednesday, May 4 at 7 p.m.

As part of the exhibition Martín Chambi and his contemporaries. The Andes photographed, Wednesday, May 4 at 7 p.m. we will have Juan Manuel Castro Prieto at Foto Colectania, who will talk to us about Chambi and also about his own look at Peru, a place where he has traveled continuously to photograph and that has marked his work in an undeniable way.

The thousands of photographs Castro Prieto took in Peru always emanate a dreamlike atmosphere. He uses reality as a sketch to represent his dreams. The landscapes, the portraits, the scenery have the mythical aroma of imagined journeys. Reconciling fantasy and reality is the challenge of this vast project with a powerful autobiographical imprint.

Practical information and booking:
Place: Fundació Foto Colectania (Passeig Picasso, 14. Barcelona).
General price: 5 €. Free for Benefactors, Friends and students of Escuelas Amigas de Foto Colectania .

Limited seating, with previous reservation. Book your place here.

The payment of the tickets will be made at the ticket office of Foto Colectania the same day of the activity.

Wiñay-Wayna, © Castro Prieto | Foto Colectania Collection
Wiñay-Wayna, © Castro Prieto | Foto Colectania Collection

Castro Prieto felt a great fascination for Peru that led him to delve into the culture of this country through writers such as Ciro Alegría and César Vallejo. The discovery of Martin Chambi's photography awakened in him a special empathy with the character and immediate admiration for his work.

When, in 1990, Alejandro Castellote suggested that he travel to Cuzco - together with Díaz Burgos - to Chambi's studio and archive to print his work from the original plates (for an exhibition at the Círculo de Bellas in Madrid), Castro Prieto fulfilled his dream, at the cost of transporting an enlarger and all the laboratory equipment - weighing more than 200 kilos - to make it happen.

"Perhaps my favorite photographer, the one in whom I was looking for myself, was Martín Chambi, and when in 1990 we left to enlarge his photographs, reality and dreams came together: I was finally looking for the Temple of the Sun by the hand of my most beloved photographer."

This will be the beginning of "Perú, viaje al Sol", one of Castro Prieto's most emblematic series, for which he traveled all over Peru during nine long trips between 1990 and 2001, during which he took more than 30,000 pictures. During the last few years he completed his personal tribute to Chambi by photographing with a 20x25 plate camera and following the regions that inspired the work of the great master.

In the Foto Colectania Collection we have a magnificent selection of more than 50 photographs from the series "Perú, viaje al Sol".

© Juan Manuel Castro Prieto / VEGAP
© Juan Manuel Castro Prieto / VEGAP

ABOUT THE SERIES "PERÚ, VIAJE AL SOL"
By Juan Manuel Castro Prieto, 2019

Why Peru and why "Perú, viaje al Sol"?

The answer to both questions that I have been asked so many times has its answer, like almost everything, in my childhood and adolescence. Reading Tintin comics I dreamed that when I grew up I would look for the Temple of the Sun in Peru.

I always dreamed of Peru, and when I started to be a photographer, the adventures of Tintin
adventures of Tintin were driving me to travel, to live adventures and emotions.

Perhaps that is why my favorite photographer, the one in whom I sought myself, was Martin Chambi, and when in 1990 we left to expand his photographs, reality and dreams came together: I was finally looking for the Temple of the Sun with my most beloved photographer.

"Perú, viaje al sol" is the result, a travel diary, but, above all, of sensations, of magical moments and, of course, of dreams intermingled with the flow of life.

Thirty years and fifteen trips later I still wish to return to Peru.

© Juan Manuel Castro Prieto
© Juan Manuel Castro Prieto

Biography

Having studied Economy, Castro Prieto joined the VU Agency in Paris in 2001. He received the National Photography Award in 2015. Currently, he combines the development of his personal projects with collaborations for publications such as Mare, Le Monde, GEO, National Geographic, El País, The Times.... His work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Spain and other countries such as France, Belgium, Italy, USA, Guatemala, Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. He is present in numerous national and international collections. Among his main published books are: "Perú, viaje al sol", 2001; "Extraños", 2003; "La seda rota", 2005; "Etiopía", 2009; "Cespedosa", 2016.

Castro Prieto uses photography to evidence the reality hidden behind the apparent logic of the everyday. In his images there is always mystery, restlessness and beauty. Behind his photographs hides a subtle symbolism that links them directly to recurring issues in the author's imaginary, such as childhood, death, sex or religion.