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Ampo 2012- 2015

Wet plate Collodion

The Ampo pieces were born out of this technical relationship between the photographic media and the model to be capture which in this case are albino people. The area (plaque of glass) in this ambryotype is revealed as the negative image over a white surface, nevertheless if the plaque is placed with a black background the image tends to display a positive image display, this behavior, implicit in the wet collodion process, made me reflect on how we actually make visible and recognize certain bodies through the photographic language, therefore I felt temped to deal with a group of human being that have been segregated, discriminated, and even persecuted throughout human history, due to their skin pigmentation.
It is such way that Ampo is set as a way in which the photographed subject is evidence of the media it stands and simultaneously restore the condition of the mentioned subject in this case albinos for their dazzling white condition.
Ampo is composed by a series of portraits of albino people build specially to represent common images from the art cannon of art history, in which we may find that the image itself is a mean for identity, authenticity, and social classification: to capture an image with an apparent nineteen-century photograph standard in contemporary digital era.
In all of these images the model poses for the camera with his/her eyes closed. this aesthetic resource is generated for two reasons: in first instance albino people suffer to some extent from photophobia due to a lack of melanin in their iris which produces what is known as nystagmus, an involuntary eye movement, reason why the photographed albino subject's eyes are in constant movement, avoiding sunlight in much the same way a scanner.
Secondly, this aspect that evidences a physical and anatomy condition of the model is linked to the very same nature of the photographing apparatus since in this case the ambryotype or collodion process require long exposition periods to be able to achieve the proper capture. An anachronic construction of this type of portrait recalls the photograph media in the mid nineteen century, when a photographer would require elements as a head support to be able to keep a subject still or ask of them to maintain their eyes closed so that later on they could be intervened through paint achieving a sort of hybrid process between the capturing of a photograph and picture representation.
Ampo is therefore a photograph proposal that intends to acknowledge and show a particular social group by using a method that demonstrates what makes them be excluded.
This project took place thanks to the Fundación Contraste - Albinos por Colombia (Contrast foundation - Albinos for Colombia), whom most kindly offered their support to make this project and whose members gave their consent and the right to use their portraits and images to make visible Ampo.

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