LA CRECIENTE

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La Creciente

 

I created this project during the 3 years that I lived in the islands of the Delta of the Paraná River. Away from the city for the first time, I had to adapt to living in this unfamiliar territory full of water and silence. Influenced by books and oral and written stories about the great Paraná River, I shared a daily life with the islanders. I wanted to tell about my experience in the islands and as time passed; I ended up becoming an islander. I stopped being a stranger and inhabited this place to tell the story from the inside and break with a basic premise of the documentary photographic approach: one portrays the other.


Every day I crossed the Paraná River in a small motorboat called Espejito -little mirror-. I would meet people here and there, on docks or bars, accompany them and capture some moments of their routine that seemed extraordinary to me. 

I requested the islanders to recreate those scenes from their daily life but during the night. I photographed in long time exposures under the full moon. Even though many people had never photographed themselves, I made them trust me.


Each night portrait involved people standing still for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile,

I was photographing with a 4 x 5-inch large-format camera, which allowed me to use the focal plane of the camera creating diagonal and oblique planes that dramatically shape the geography of the landscape. I illuminated the scenes with flashlights of different colour balances and the light of the moon.


La Creciente is a project that questions the basic principle of ´instantaneity´ in documentary photography: capturing the moment. In this project, genuine people represent themselves in their daily lives, generating fiction within reality. The images are visually placed in limbo between day and night because of prolonged exposure and the timeless bathing of the moonlight.


This project has several layers from which to think about it since it is a personal diary and it is an experiment on documentary language. But it also shows an altered vision of time and landscape for the use of light and colour that shows a dramatization of every day. Above all, this project seeks to convey the extraordinary visual and poetic impact that life has in the Paraná Delta

Text by Martin Parr

By the time I had seen the third image in Chaskeilberg’s folio I was convinced this was a major new photographer. I had never seen any images like this before and few with such maturity from a new photographer.

On one level his work is documents a rural community living on the banks of the Parana river delta. But there is so much more than this. All taken during the full moon, his photos are a virtuoso exploration of how flash, torches, moonlight and posed portraits all fuse together in a seamless manner. The photographer has combined subject and methodology so convincingly that you know he has resolved this brilliantly. So much so, you hardly notice the thin line between subject and style.

When I first saw his work, he had already a good year of shooting behind him but I was convinced he needed to return to fully realise the potential of this project. So he returned to the area from mid 2009 to mid 2010 to consolidate his exploration and documentation.

Every photograph is carefully researched and rehearsed. As each one needs to have the backdrop of the full moon as an essential ingredient, the window for shooting is no more than three clear nights. The subjects, being hard working foresters, are usually tucked up in bed by 9pm, have to be persuaded to stay up late and sit for many minutes while the long exposures are made. The fact he stayed in this community was an obvious advantage. All the subjects knew his project and were willing sitters. The image featured on page xx is remarkable as this was the first time one itinerant Paraguayan worker had ever seen a photo of himself. 

The documentary value of these images is the real bonus. If we did not know who they were, or indeed where they were taken, these images would still delight the eye.

I think a key element of this work is the fact that Chaskielberg was previously a director of photography in the film world. The rigour of setting up artificial lighting, staging and making the frame work – all contribute the essential elements to this project.

This remarkable body of work ticks all the boxes. It is art, it is stylistically innovative, it documents a fragile community, and it helps to give substance to the new emerging photographic culture to be found in Argentina.

Book

La Creciente, 2010

Published by Nazraeli Press

Forewords by Martin Parr

 

Selected Exhibitons

Galería Benzacar Buenos Aires 2007 

Yossi Milo Gallery New York 2011 

Michael Hoppen Gallery London 2011

Ring Cube Gallery, Tokyo 2012

916 Gallery Tokyo 2012 

Centro Cultural Kirchner Buenos Aires 2015

Brighton Photo Biennial 2010

Ballarat International Biennial, Australia

Tokio International Photography Festival

New York Photo Festival

Awards

World Photographer of the Year 2011 - WPO

Emerging Photographer Grant - Magnum Foundation

Leopold Godowsky Jr. Award - Boston University

All Roads Program - National Geographic Society

Top Thirty Photographers Worldwide - PDN Magazine

Exhibitions