CENTER’s Exhibitor’s Choice 2nd Place Award: Mario Lalau
Mario Lalau received 2nd Place in CENTER’s Exhibitor’s Choice Award. His project and book, Tropeço, “unravels the cities wherever he goes. The camera acts as a propellant engine that is obstinately moving forward in this wanderer’s displacement”. Krzystof Candrowicz, Artistic director of Hamburg Triennial of Photography selected Mario’s work for this award and his statement is below.
The Choice Awards recognize outstanding photographers working in all processes and subject matter. The Awards are divided into four categories: Curator’s Choice, Editor’s Choice, Director’s Choice and Exhibitor’s Choice. Winners receive recognition via exhibition, publication, portfolio reviews and more. The Choice Award winners are invited to participate in an exhibition in Santa Fe, New Mexico during Review Santa Fe.
Krzysztof Candrowicz is a curator, art director, researcher and educator. He is the Co-founder and director of the International Festival of Photography in Lodz and Foundation of Visual Education. Since January 2014, he works as artistic director of the Triennial of Photography in Hamburg.
Open calls mean diversity. Open calls made the photography world more inclusive. Open calls gave opportunities for artists to be visible and for curators to discover outstanding work. The submission procedure itself is rather technical, but on both sides of this process people are behind it. Therefore preparing a proper portfolio and final curator’s choice make this practice so human. Selection is our daily life. We are natural born curators.
I feel thankful for being a part of the Choice Awards. It’s a way to discover new works, waves and tendencies. On the one hand going through hundreds of applications and mixtures of all kinds of projects can be a challenging practice but for me it’s first of all a very absorbing activity that opens a way to discover and understand other perspectives.
This time I noticed there was a strong focus on social, economic and environmental changes in society. I observed that more and more projects were kind of personal statements about the current global situation. Consequently I have chosen three bodies of work that provided evidence of and a comment on certain issues of importance that are found in society. I’m satisfied that photography as a technology and medium remains transparent and the main focus goes to process observation, recognition and interpretation.
Mario Lalau (São Paulo, SP, 1978) Currently lives in Texas, USA. Has a bachelor’s degree in Administration and a postgraduate degree in Communication and Arts. He has worked as a photojournalist for Grupo Folha de São Paulo and has published in some of the main news media in Brazil. He then worked as a Fashion Photographer. In the last 5 years he has been dedicated to his own projects like “Tropeço”.
Born in São Paulo ,1978, Mario Lalau lived in California and São Paulo-Brazil but is currently living in Texas, USA. He began his work in Photography as a staff photojournalist for Grupo Folha de São Paulo and has published in some of the main newspapers, magazines and websites in Brazil. Some of these include Folha de são Paulo, Agora, Uol notícias and diário do nordeste. He later shifted his work to editorial and fashion photography for adults and Children where he established a solid career and a recognized name within children’s clothing brands. During this period, he has always worked on side projects for collective shows and book publications. For the last 5 years he has been focused on his personal project “Tropeço” an ongoing project published in Book format in May of 2017.
To repeatedly go through the same spaces in our customary displacements, we naturally tend to stop seeing them in detail. The flow will gradually automate itself. We tend to see a whole that is equal, repetitive and boring, suppressing the ability to perceive the subtle changes with which the sum of the days sculpts the landscape. Mario Lalau goes against this discourse of the pasteurization of the global landscape. As a solitary traveler, he likes to walk aimlessly to unravel the cities wherever he goes. The camera acts as a propellant engine that is obstinately moving forward in this wanderer’s displacement. Far from the usual photos of the accidental tourist in his images we do not see the city that is proud to show its monuments, its lush architecture, its historical landmarks. What is revealed, with his ability to notice chance, the ironies and the gags that seem to be revealed just to him in the public domain, is something that results from the substrate of human relations, the pacts of conviviality, the silent social and behavioral rules. These chance encounters between form and meaning, objects and utilities, logic and deviations, nature and culture, generate a plethora of sculptural events which together are like a precise chronicle of the contemporary man’s theater of customs. When faced with his images we often laugh at our own beliefs and idiosyncrasies. An oblique way of seeing that can activate a decisive critique about our days pulling from the unusual and humor.
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