I’m talking about stones older than life. The stones are pieces of stars that fall from the sky and remain, turning into sand. These are the words of Graciela Iturbide (México, 1942) about her last series, produced in 2021 at the request of the Cartier Foundation. The gaze of this great lady of Mexican photography then turns to the monumental monoliths of Tecali and focuses on the mineral and the sky to capture their light and time and thus return, symbolically, to the raw materials of photography.
Developed over the past fifty years, Graciela Iturbide’s series reflect an exceptional body of work combining a documentary approach and a poetic gaze. Sometimes enigmatic, they reveal her vision on indigenous populations, their traditions and their view of death, this omnipresent allegory in the Mexican imagination. The fruits of a shared experience, certain images, such as Nuestra Señora de las Iguanas and La niña del peine, taken with Zapotec women in the Oaxaca Valley, have become true icons of Latin American photography. Works that reveal the primordial place of the dream in her artistic expression, also the result of a photographic practice that she qualifies as ritual and which constitutes, finally, a means allowing us to grasp the mythical face of man.
Exhibition of Graciela Iturbide at the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art
261 Bd Raspail, 75014 Paris, France
From February 12 to May 29, 2022
General curator: Alexis Fabry
Associate Curator: Marie Perennes