Current Issue: Volume 130, Number 1 July 14, 2009


Dueling views of Argentinean culture

Posted 10-01-2003 at 3:25PM

Victor Parkinson
Staff Reporter

The photographs taken by RPI graduate student Fabian Fabrega and partner Jan Galligan have found expression in the Shelnutt Gallery in an exhibit titled “YOUNG : VIEJO :: JOVEN : OLD,” continuing through October 22. Fabrega, who recently began working towards an MBA in the Lally School of Management and Technology at RPI, has traveled with Galligan on a sojourn to Argentina, Fabrega’s homeland. The pictures taken there by both photographers are the focus of the exhibit.

Although previously focusing on shooting mostly landscapes, “I’m still very interested in capturing my environment, especially my family,” Fabrega said. Some of the pictures in his part of the exhibit include shots of his family eating, his brother working at their family home in Argentina, or a room in the house. Other pictures are of friends and family in scenic Argentinean landscapes. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, the pictures afford a unique view into Fabrega’s life. Fabrega’s pictures almost become a definition of Fabrega the man.

Galligan, rather than concentrating on his own life, uses his pictures to chronicle trips that he takes around the world. “I’m there, in a circumstance that I’ve never been in before, in a place I’ve never seen before, so what we’re seeing in some ways are the things that really immediately caught my interest,” said Galligan.

Galligan’s pictures are compositions of several pictures, and he has created some very interesting juxtapositions. Galligan has also expertly used the camera angle to create correlations between different subjects in the same picture.

Included with Galligan’s pictures are short writings about his trips, snapshots of what he and his family experienced, as well as pieces of the history of Argentinean culture. These mixed media combine to give a sense of Argentina, as seen through the eyes of Galligan, which makes Galligan’s pictures very similar to Fabrega’s pictures.

The combination of Fabrega’s and Galligan’s photos offers an intriguing dual perspective on the same culture and country. Fabrega shows Argentina on a more personal level, while Galligan presents more of a montage of the culture as a whole.

Although both photographers use other art forms to express themselves, both enjoy photography in particular. “I like photography very much because it’s challenging. You have only two dimensions and you have to capture everything that you feel at the moment, that you want to express, in a somehow limited device, or limited resources,” said Fabrega. Of photography, Galligan said, “For me it was like the best, most immediate way to record what was going on at the time.”

Both Galligan and Fabrega plan to continue their collaboration, although neither has definite plans for future efforts. Galligan plans future trips, where he will take more pictures of new people and places while Fabrega only knows that he will continue working in business, taking pictures, playing music, and following his interest in sports.

In a statement that seems to describe both his photographic style and his future plans, Fabrega said, “My pictures are only one picture for a moment.”

Posted 10-01-2003 at 3:25PM
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