A trip to the past and the spark that ignites a promising future are hybridized in the same space thanks to a present marked by family alliance. While Oscar Pintor enjoys his retrospective at FOLA (Fototeca Latinoamericana) -which covers more than five decades of his life in images- his son Pablo exhibits for the first time his photos from meters away from the iconic series that made his father such a photographer recognized as loved by colleagues. A journey that comes to an end giving way to a promising and uncertain journey marked by experimentation and enthusiasm that crosses generations.
More than 70 black and white photographs of Oscar’s most distinctive series –Interiors, Bodies, Trompe LOeil, Portraits, Nocturns– mark in “Vuelta a las Fuentes” the pulse of a life sweetened by photography. Painter’s daily life, like that of most artists, was divided between stable work that allowed him to live, family life and his job as a photographer. Back in San Juan – where he was born and lived – taking photos while going to work, on the way, was more than a hobby; a need. The desire to photograph was marked by passion and the temptation to not only seek the image but to build it. “Photography is an irremediable need to do,” he said at the time.
Oscar’s passion did not fade, but it did change form; transmuted. There was a time when it was difficult for him to understand (rather, accept) that this irremediable need to do no longer crossed him; the only way to continue photographing was by actively searching for that fire that you once felt when holding the camera in your hands. Sometimes without friendly results. “Do you still feel like a photographer?” His son asked him once. Question that his father could not answer. The only certainty is that his immense retrospective mounted in the illuminated room of FOLA brings together the concerns that marked him throughout his life spent in San Juan and Buenos Aires: the stark presence of absence, the intimate connection with his subjects, the mischief of deceiving what the eye thinks it sees, the desolate landscapes that preserve flashes of past lives and the nocturnal spaces that he recorded in the meaningful walks he made with his son.
Oscar’s black and white photographs contrast with “Transeúnte”, the series by his son Pablo that bursts into the annex of the Latin American Photo Library through its explosive colors. Although he is a renowned film director, this is the first time that he exhibits one of his photographic projects. What is significant is that its first exhibition was conceived after the end of Memoria Fotográfica, which will also be screened in one of the FOLA rooms together with both exhibitions. This film was born from Pablo’s need for his father to travel to his native land to reconnect with the spaces he knew how to photograph – which today lie in ruins – with the intention that he would try to (re) connect with the photographer from the beginning. It was not only a geographical trip, but in time. “I started the movie 30 years ago, when I was still just his son. And I took it up again at 43, when I was already the father of three boys and I felt the need to finish it, ”said Pablo on RECREO, the FOLA podcast. Although he was motivated to understand what happens when the passion for what was once the engine of everyday life disappears, the director and photographer was even more disturbed to discover why this curse? it had fallen on his father, his great reference.
The infinite pollution of images enhanced by the exponential growth of social networks caused Oscar to lose his balance. He does not deny the new dynamics, but he is no longer so clear about where photography passes. “I continue to value it as a fact in itself, as the record of an experience that remains. However, on an artistic level, the image has exploded anywhere. There are unexplored areas in which you do not know if that photograph can be used for something, if there was a search or it is a passing avant-garde ”, he reflected in RECREO, noting that although he feels disoriented, he is not prejudiced with the new photographic dynamics. On the contrary, it continues to claim freedom in doing.
Although the pleasure of seeing his series mounted in the same space -lists to tempt visitors to re-signify them by creating new stories and generating points of contact- is immense, it does not resemble the enthusiasm that his retrospective is also the kicker for Pablo share a slice of who you are through some of your images. An intense process of yesteryear that culminates with the beginning of a propitious journey, marked by fire by the same blood.
The exhibits can be seen until February 21, 2021, every day (including weekends) except Wednesdays from 12 a.m. to 7 p.m. Shifts are booked through the website: https://fola.com.ar/reserva-de-turnos/.
Link to the RECREO episode in which father and son talk about this exhibition: https://open.spotify.com/episode/6lFpBlpXg9FF31q2pwMLdH