© Graciela Iturbide, 2022
When Graciela Iturbide returned to the Mexican town of Chalma, decades after having portrayed the masked commotion that streamed through the city’s streets during the local festivities, her gaze seemed to have changed completely. The black and white of her early career which had been non-negotiable throughout her oeuvre became richer, the range of hues broader and more tactile, its textures denser, and the surfaces more evocative. But, above all else, in comparison to the effervescent bustle of her old photographs, driven by the macabre grimace of a dancing skull, what resounded in these new images was a sudden silence.
One of the paradoxes that characterize modern art is present in the latest work by Iturbide, namely the dynamic between surface (visual, acoustic, and verbal) and depth. The density of humans is substituted by another which is sensorial, material, and atmospheric. Faced with the harsh geometry that sections the surface of the image into four almost perfect quadrants, that which escapes calculations becomes manifest: the incommensurable and persistent nature of time and matter. Likewise, there is a double temporality represented by the longevity of concrete versus the instant that is stolen from the emerging clouds. A synthesis that configures a rhetoric of the sacred and opens the space—a construction that is indefinitely detained in time—waiting for what is always yet to come.