Fundación MAPFRE today presented two new exhibitions that can be visited from February 26 until May 23 at the KBr Photography Center at 30, Avenida del Litoral in Barcelona.

CLAUDIA ANDUJAR

Born in Neuchâtel (Switzerland) in 1931, Claudine Haas grew up in Transylvania in a family of mixed Protestant (on her mother’s side) and Jewish (on her father’s) origins. Her father’s family died in the concentration camps of Auschwitz and Dachau. She and her mother managed to escape, and in 1946 reached New York, where she took the name of Claudia. An admirer of the French-Russian painter Nicolas de Staël, during her time in the Big Apple she explored abstract painting while working as a guide at the United Nations. Following an initial visit to Brazil in 1955, followed by other visits, she decided to settle in São Paulo, where photography offered her a means of communicating and mixing with the local people in her newly adopted country.

The photographs of Claudia Andujar have been placed at the service of the fight to defend the cultural and territorial rights of the Yanomami community and offer a prodigious insight into their ancestral customs. As Claudia Andujar herself said: “I am connected with the indigenous people, with the land, with an essential struggle. All of this moves me deeply. Everything seems necessary. […] Perhaps I always sought the reason for life in this essentiality. And that’s why I came to the Amazon jungle, instinctively, while searching for myself.”

The exhibition, curated by Thyago Nogueira, the contemporary photography coordinator at the Moreira Salles Institute, is organized into eight sections that encompass around 200 photographs and a series of drawings by artists from the Yanomami community, as well as books, videos and documents that explore the artist’s extraordinary contribution to the medium.

In addition to the images of the Yanomami people there is a selection of the first photographs taken by Andujar in Brazil during the 1960s and 1970s.

The Claudia Andujar exhibition was organized by the Moreira Salles Institute in Brazil in collaboration with Fundación MAPFRE, with the support of the Hutukara Associação Yanomami and the Socio-Environmental Institute of Brazil.

THE CAPTIVE GAZE: A COLLECTION OF DAGUERREOTYPES FROM THE CENTER FOR IMAGE RESEARCH AND DIFFUSION (CRDI) – GIRONA

The exhibition, organized in conjunction with the Center for Image Research and Diffusion (CRDI) of Girona City Council, is the first to be organized at the KBr Center of Fundación MAPFRE in collaboration the with the different Catalan institutions that safeguard a rich photographic heritage.

Based on the CRDI’s collections, the exhibition, curated by Joan Boadas and David Iglésias (Heads of the Document, Archive and Publication Management Services and the Graphic And Visual Documentation Sections, respectively, of the CRDI), the exhibition follows the history of the origins of photography through a selection of daguerreotypes from the 1840s to the 1860s, in formats that range from half-plate to ninth-plate. It also features several types of encapsulation for these images, from the wooden cases with leather coverings and molded thermoplastic typical of the United States to the French and European system which consisted of an open frame in a similar style to the ones used for paintings.

The content of the images consists mainly of studio portraits: individuals, couples or groups, and even some post mortem portraits, and there are also two images in the stereoscopic format that reproduce sculptures. The authorship of some of these daguerreotypes has been identified thanks to the inscriptions on the frames, although generally speaking the names of the sitters are unknown, apart from when there is some kind of annotation to the images.

The Cinema Museum of Girona has also loaned some tools and objects associated with daguerreotypes to the exhibition, including a box of chemicals used for developing, laboratory lamps, and pigments for tinting them. These materials not only help us to understand the technical aspects and developing process, but also the historical and cultural context of the images at a time when photography was first introduced to people through this brand new “invention”.

The exhibition is rounded off with two videos that explain how to make a daguerreotype and the restoration process of a group of them undertaken by Fundación MAPFRE for displaying at this exhibition, and some photograms that give a 3D view of four of the daguerreotypes in the collection.

PHOTOconversations. TUESDAYS AT THE KBr

KBr Fundación MAPFRE’s KBr Photography Center is kicking off a series of conferences on March 2 entitled Photography and Exhibitions: cross-cutting knowledge.

Directed by Marta Dahó, this series of conferences explores the different aspects of the complex and changing relationship between photography and photographic exhibitions over the years. The eight sessions offer a fascinating cross-cutting focus that embraces historiographic, theoretical and curatorial perspectives.

The meetings will be held entirely online every Tuesday of March and April.