CATÁLOGO DE COLECCIONES
© Paz Errázuriz, 2022
During the 1990s, Paz Errázuriz’s concern for people who had been deprived of their freedom led to her interest in the Philippe Pinel psychiatric hospital in Putaendo, a small city 200 km north of Santiago de Chile. Built in the 1940s for tuberculosis patients, over time the center began to receive people with psychiatric disorders who had been living the streets.
While taking photographs of the patients, Errázuriz realized that many of them had formed stable relationships—a fact that would usually go unnoticed—and were willing to get married, a union the center would not allow. From that moment, the photographer focused her attention on the bond between these couples. Far from the paternalist and condescending view often reserved for people suffering from mental illness, Errázuriz underlines their affective relationships, focusing on caresses, complicit looks and hugs. In Infarto I [Heart Attack I], the center of the image is occupied by the gestural manifestation of the couple’s union, posing in front of the camera with a quasi ceremonial feel, as if Errázuriz were to consecrate, with her camera, the union that had been denied to them by the hospital.