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  HOME | Arts & Entertainment

“Dystopia,” a Trip to a Sweetly Toxic Future by Mexico’s Fernando Montiel

SANTIAGO – Desert landscapes in pink and blue that seduce the spectator with their sweet toxicity, and transhuman figures scanning a horizon where the only reality is contradiction: so Mexican photographer Fernando Montiel Klint imagines the future in his latest exhibit, “Dystopia.”

The collection, on show in Santiago until next June 28, seeks to create a new “discussion and dynamic” about how Latin American society conceives its future, one that Montiel imagines “full of contradictions” between “good and evil, the organic and the technological,” as he said in an interview with EFE.

To achieve that he has employed multiple formats beyond photography including photogravure, video, sound and even neon lights, with which he turns the gallery into a limbo full of stimuli.

His pursuit of that impression appears powerfully reflected in the contrast between the two predominant colors of the show, deep blue and pink, which act, Montiel said, as “a metaphor for the polarity that exists between the good effects of technological breakthroughs and their unexpected consequences.”

“I want my work to express that part, but mixed with colors between pink and blue, with a very sweet toxicity like candy, so what you see are landscapes filled with industries that are tearing the planet apart, but that look really pretty,” the photographer said.

This particular universe of the Mexican artist, recently honored by the Photographic Museum of Humanity, breaks out of the usual categories, both in the physical and the abstract and even the sexual senses, with hermaphrodites full of digital modifications, proof of a future when “we will be the way we want to be.”

A palpable reality especially in the shots of a group of Haitian immigrants who joined a caravan of Central American migrants headed for the United States, but who were left stranded in the Mexican border towns of Tijuana and Mexicali.

“I went with them to the Migrante Hotel and took my clothes, my cash and all my gear with me and we did something very interesting while discussing how they imagine the future. In the pictures you see their bodies manipulated with what look like tattoos but it’s all about cyberpunk (a mix of a degraded humanity with high-tech implants),” Montiel said.

Another of the main elements of the work are scenes in which the leading figures are always “located in the lands, the deserts” and the corners of “cities where the colonial districts are out of sight” in order to preserve the “timelessness of the image.”

Though the woodlands of the Colombian jungles are also present, he said, a sign that his project “is open” to different ideas, the fact is that it mainly features the desert “as a place where the subjects are more isolated and free from references.”

Moving on, he said the photogravures attract attention the way they are arranged in an almost antagonistic way on the opposite wall from the photos, since they are the “more abstract” part of the exhibit, one that shows “the connection with the subconscious and with the past as it continues to exist in the future.”

“They are the only images in black, which creates an interesting connection because they act as an element from elsewhere that questions the very reason for the exhibit,” Montiel said.

 

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