© Graciela Iturbide, 2022
In 1998 Graciela Iturbide took her first trip to India. There, despite the constant crowds, she was able to crystallize a new vision that did not necessarily require contact with people in order to establish a link with the place she was portraying. Also during this trip the artist incorporated one of the most important motifs into her work, birds. Although careful observation of her early photographs will determine that this motif had been present from the onset of her photographic practice. While in India, Iturbide had the idea of dedicating a book to the species that would be published years later: Pájaros [Birds], 2002. That same year, India, México, vientos paralelos [India, Mexico, Parallel Winds], a second book, which also included a portion of the images she took during her trip through the subcontinent, was published with the participation of photographers Sebastião Salgado and Raghu Rai.
Khajuraho, India is exemplary in the way Iturbide opens the image to an indescribable feeling both ambiguous and unsettling. There is a resounding absence, namely that of the body to which the hanging jacket belongs. Next to it, following traditional iconography, a crow seems to conjure the fleeing of the soul. The crow evokes qualities of liberation and desolation that are reminiscent of the photograph The Solitude of Ravens by the photographer Masahisa Fukase.
Years later, in 2013, in reference to the mysticism of Juan de la Cruz [John of the Cross], the photographer published Las condiciones del pájaro solitario [The Conditions of a Solitary Bird], for which she compiled 32 photographs of birds she encountered during her trips through Mexico, India, Germany, Italy, Cuba and the United States.