Days gone by, her name became common in the field of contemporary photography when he obtained the first Prize for the Latin American Area of the international competition of the World Photography Organization, a prestigious entity created in 2007 with the aim of promoting the activity of photographers. around the world through competitions, exhibitions, fairs and collaborative projects.
In that consecrating space, Andrea Alkalay won the highest award among Latin American photography professionals. She trained at the University of Buenos Aires, she defines herself as a "visual artist who uses photography as the main support of her work”.
Let her responses allow us to enjoy her work from a deeper perspective.
HILARIO: Is your training as an Industrial Designer reflected in your artistic pursuits in a direct way?
ANDREA ALKALAY: All academic training is a root for understanding the world. Then it will depend on how you decode that knowledge for your doing. As a designer I learned to use materials in relation to form - function, and to conceive projects based on supporting concepts. In this case, I can say that I have rooted this logic in my artistic process.
Design, like art, requires investigation and exploration, but the purposes are very different. Art does not have to have a practical use, or satisfy needs of the order of the utilitarian.
I like to experiment with materials to intervene in my works, but I use them as symbols to underline an idea, like the gold plates used in my Kutho series (2), to associate it with religion, illumination and power, for example.
H: The following reflection edited on your website, does it define your artistic work?: “Art is a path towards the genuine. A search for the truth. I know it does not exist, but the attempt seems valid to me and it is what prompts me to do and say”.
AA: I don't know if it defines it, because what I'm saying is that I am in a constant search, and that search is an endless road since the truth is something relative. Finding meaning is difficult, and my questions are a mere observation.
I use photography to manipulate the perception of reality and to reflect. I am interested in constructing meaning based on the illusory.
H: How do the barriers imposed by the pandemic affect your creative work, especially when a large part of your work was born from the images and experiences of your travels through the rest of America, Asia, Africa and Europe?
AA: The pandemic keeps me very active. Precisely because it imposes a new work dynamic, an expanded access to information. I started working on the winning series of the Latin America Professional Award last year with what I had closest to hand, my archive of trips around the world. I worked with the notion of landscape, in the broadest sense of the word. I edited the material selecting different scenarios for the new composition that I wanted to do. The forest, the sea, the palm grove, the mountains, no longer belong to any specific place.
Then I extracted their colorimetry to put together a collage of two images that propose a dialogue between the figurative of the front scenography, and the abstraction of a backstage digitized as a barcode.
H: Your participation in national and international competitions is very active and successful, what do they awaken in your artistic work and how much do they benefit you by reaping important prizes, like the one you just obtained?
AA: Competing gives me impetus, since it has the potential to open doors to new challenges and links me with other actors in the artistic universe. It increases the visibility of the work by being exhibited in museums and art spaces, a key issue to reach a wider audience, and that makes me very happy. Exchanging glances with other cultures, ordering formal aspects for participation, joining an active community, are some of the valuable instances of a work's journey to put oneself in value.
H: What is your opinion of the contemporary Latin American photography market?
AA: In terms of the economic market, I cannot speak. I do not understand the thing on that side. As for Latin American photography, I have many referential authors that I admire, such as Constantino, Gonzales Palma, Iturbide, Schoijet, Pastorino, among many other disciplines, as it is almost indistinct. I believe that there is still a long way to go for Latin American art to occupy a more prominent place on the world scene. The replica watches level is comparable.