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The Three Corners of the Ocean.  Photographs and artworks by Claudia López Ortega.
 
The Three Corners of the Ocean.  booktease preview.

The Three Corners of the Ocean.

Photographs and artworks by Claudia López Ortega.
Dienacht Magazine, Germany, 2021. In English. 108 pp., 7x9½".

Publisher's Description

'This project is about love and the touch of madness in my experience of motherhood.

In my family, there are things that are impossible to talk about – although you have been able to sense them since you were a child. There are secrets and looks. There are questions about our female lineage that are never addressed. The silence speaks louder than words.

Victoria, my daughter, dared to take a risk and accompanied me into this travesty to express, in her own way, all the feelings rooted deep inside generations of our family.

She let me know how sad, lonely and distant she felt from me, just as I felt as a child with my mother and as she felt in turn with my grandmother.
These are the three corners of the ocean.' — Claudia López Ortega


El Paraíso (Eng: Paradise), where the series takes place, is a Mexican Pacific beach, which due to its geographical location each year is wrecked by tropical storms and hurricanes. A small community living there resists and replenishes the limited resources they have, living with the hope that someday their situation will change and El Paraíso will become a great tourist destination.

The book is split in two parts. The first part, bound to the front cover & wrapped in a sunny yellow foil, is a trouble-less view of the family, its front and bright side, as it were, yet with a melancholic touch. The second part, bound to the back cover & featuring many more images, including some of those in the first part, is a much more comprehensive view deep down. Something that is hardly ever seen to the outsider’s eye. Black lists of wounds, drawings, archival pictures, ironic cut outs from retro magazines – all give a broader context to the relationship of the three women in one family and help re-contextualize familiar scenes in a different way.

'Strange to say, because you won’t see the affinity in the way the images are made, but Claudia López Ortega has made a project that is deeply tied to the aesthetic of Ralph Eugene Meatyard; on the one-hand, idealized family portraits, on the other the bleaker reality of her familial situation. In the opening we see a generation of three women who live in a paradisical seaside village, but on the backside, we see the bleaker reality; it’s a town predicated on hope: the hope of a better climate, the hope of a more stable economy within an affluent tourist community, the hope that life will slide up alongside them in  a limousine, throw open the door and declare, Get in here – we’ve been waiting for you! There is no balance. There’s life in the slideshow and then, there’s life without filter. The book’s design, done by Calin Kruse, shows Kruse as a master of the photobook form. Kruse’s ability to make a powerful book (when supplied the right images) increases with each offering from Dienacht.' — Christopher Johnson, photo-eye Bookstore


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