El ángel de la historia (1963-2008)
The Angel of History (1963-2008) - Mural of nineteen digital copies in color and forty-four copies of silver in gelatin
Paolo Gasparini
Born: Gorizia, Italia, 1934
El ángel de la historia (1963-2008) (Paolo Gasparini)

The title of this large mural is a reference to the renowned article by Walter Benjamin in which the German philosopher reflects on human’s inability to extract themselves from the everlasting cycle of destruction. The angel of history is “irresistibly propelled in to the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress.”

According to Paolo Gasparini, the efficacy of images lies in the occasionally violent dialog that is established between them. In this compilation produced for the 2018 exhibition Latinópolis one can observe photographs taken years ago, such as La passion de Chiapas [The Passion of Chiapas] from 1997, along with other images from the 2000s. In order to prevent them from becoming icons stripped of their ability to generate meaning Gasparini rearranged them into a visual essay or a fotoracconto—as he likes to call them—that seeks the activation of a critical gaze. Signs, billboards, storefronts, and images within images that do not merely try to denounce a terrible reality, but also call upon a different perspective that may even help to find beauty in chaos.