© Paz Errázuriz, 2022
Between 1984 and 1989, Paz Errázuriz portrayed the daily lives of circus workers from several small circuses located on the outskirts of Chilean cities. The project was born out of her interest in unusual lifestyles, in this case on the nomadic life of circus performers. However, it was also driven by the artist’s will to denounce the situation of communities who were deprived of their rights during the Pinochet dictatorship. Due to the political content of the work, as well as the lack of photographic labs during that time in Chile, the series was unpublished until 2013 when Errázuriz finally constructed the series entitled Circo [Circus].
Magicians, trapeze artists and clowns are some of the characters that are featured from within the circus community. However, avoiding the spectacular and fantastic nature of their professions, the photographer highlighted their daily lives instead. Some of the portraits remind us of the characters in the work of North American photographer Diane Arbus, popularly known as freaks. However, in Errázuriz’s work there is a greater closeness to her protagonists due to the spontaneity of her images. In Miss Piggy II, Santiago the true face of the character, his complicit smile unveiled from behind the costume, points to a reality that lies beneath the surface and that no one wants to see, one Errázuriz’s work insist on showing us.