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La Calle brings together more than thirty years of photography from the streets of Mexico by Alex Webb, spanning from 1975 to 2007. Whether in black and white or color, Webb’s richly layered and complex compositions touch on multiple genres. As Geoff Dyer writes, “Wherever he goes, Webb always ends up in a Bermuda shaped triangle where the distinctions between photo journalism, documentary, and art blur and disappear.” Webb’s ability to distill gesture, light, and cultural tensions into single, beguiling frames results in evocative images that convey a sense of mystery, irony, and humor.
Following an initial trip in the mid-1970s, Webb returned frequently to Mexico, working intensely on the U.S.–Mexico border and into southern Mexico throughout the 1980s and ’90s, inspired by what poet Octavio Paz calls “Mexicanism—delight in decorations, carelessness and pomp, negligence, passion, and reserve.” La Calle presents a commemoration of the Mexican street as a sociopolitical bellwether—albeit one that has undergone significant transformation since Webb’s first trips to the country.
Alex Webb: La Calle, Photographs from Mexico (Aperture/Televisa Foundation, 2016), texts by Guillermo Arriaga, Álvaro Enrigue, Valeria Luiselli, Guadalupe Nettel, and Mónica de la Torre
Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb: Finding Your Vision, Saturday and Sunday, September 24-25, 2016. Please visit aperture.org/workshops-classes/webb2016/ for more information.
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La Calle is organized by Aperture Foundation, New York and Televisa Foundation, Mexico City. Curated by Alfonso Morales. All prints courtesy the collection of Televisa Foundation.
Aperture’s exhibitions are funded, in part, by an award from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and Charina Endowment Fund, and with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.