Photography and Aesthetics: a critical study on visual and textual narratives in the lifework of Sergio Larraín and its impact in 20th century Europe and Latin America


The main focus of this study is a theoretical exploration of critical approaches applicable to the work of the Chilean photographer Sergio Larraín (1931-2012). It presents analytical tools to contextualise and understand the importance and impact of his work in photographic studies and his portrayal of twentieth-century Latin American and European culture. It inspects in depth a large portion of his photo work, which is still only partially published and mostly reduced to his "active" period as a photojournalist, aside from the personal photographic exploration of his early and late career (C. Mena). This extended material creates a broader scope for understanding his photographs and him as a canonical photographer. This study analyses the photographer's trajectory as discourses of recollection of historical memory in time (Mauad) to trace Larraín's collective memory associated with his visual production. Such analysis helps decode his visual imagery and his projection and impact on the European and Latin American culture. This strategy helps solve a two fold problem: firstly, it generates an interpretive consistency to understand the Chilean's photographic practice; secondly, it explores the power of images as an aesthetic experience in the installation of nationalist ideologies and the creation of imaginaries (B. Anderson 163)

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