Dissolution Chambi's Self-Portraits

Decent Essays
Since the invention of the camera at the beginning of the 19th century, we human beings have felt the need to capture all of those objects, people, landscapes or situations that make a certain impact on us. The objective of photography has changed from documentation of events, such as the first war photojournalism records from Crimea in 1855 , to nowadays’ “casual, improvised, fast” photographs –usually selfies– taken “to be seen here, now, by other people, most of them unknown, in social networks” . Capturing a picture of what surrounds us is not only aimed at reaching popularity –like most of today’s celebrities– but also aimed at keeping a record of what could be relevant for us in the future. This is exactly what Martín Chambi does with…show more content…
The first level of iconographic theory is the formal analysis, which can be understood as the first impression of the image, the in-your-face characteristics of what is in front of you. The second level corresponds to the iconographic analysis; in this case, the analysis goes deeper in the characteristics of the image, studying the elements that we can find in it and the reason why they are there, always trying to see what the author’s reasoning was as the key to our proper understanding of the photo. Finally, the third level is the iconological analysis, which is focussed on the contextual factor and the image in relation with its surrounding…show more content…
Vivier states that photography allows Chambi to show that ‘el fenotipo indígena no tenía que estar absolutamente conectado al campesinado, la pobreza y el pasado’ (2014: 26). This idea proves that for Chambi, indigenismo had a much wider meaning than it could have had for other intellectuals from Cusco. This concept is understood as the ‘dominant social and political role for Indians in countries where they constitute a majority of the population’ ; however, for Chambi, there was also the need to represent more modern ideas, and this is why Vivier explains that he uses a ‘key symbol of indigenous culture’ (2014: 26) but which is related to contemporaneousness and tourism. It is also noteworthy that he is using a camera to take a picture of himself, which could not be a better representation of such modernity, since technology is what has been changing the world since we have
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