Argentina Week: Valeria Bellusci: The Polaroids
Valeria Bellusci is one of those photographers who lets life surprise her. She does not shoot with a goal in mind, or to create a series – she just photographs what she sees in the every day life that surrounds her. Every frame is a line full of feeling and poetry. These Polariods are a beautiful poem.
Valeria Bellusci was born in La Plata on February the 10th, 1970. She studies Museology at the Universidad del Museo Social Argentino and after a year, her interest in photography grew and she started working on her personal projects in 1992.
From 1995 until 1998 she took photo workshops with Adriana Lestido.
In 1999 she won the Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and this allowed her to finish her essay The sidewalk of the quiet heart.
Her work has been shown in many museums and institutions such as Centro Cultural Ricardo Rojas, Fotogalería Teatro San Martín, Centro Cultural Kirchner, Mercosur Bienal, CCPE in Rosario, and several art galleries.
In 2018, FoLa exhibited her work All the apples fell, curated by Adriana Lestido.
Valeria’s photographs are part of the collection in ArtexArte, Fotografia Latinoamericana in FoLa and various private collections in Argentina and Brazil.
She teaches the class Essay at the Argentinian School of Photography, Introduction to Expression at the UNSAM and coordinates photography workshops since 2009.
In 1997 when I was pregnant with my Mateo, my first child, I could not go to the darkroom to develop my photographs, so shooting film was out of the question. I decided to grab my Polaroid camera and record my pregnancy, and how my daily life was until he was born in October. I searched for every little corner of light I could find and shapes that were catching my eye. I let life surprise me.
I look at photographs of my three sons days after the deliveries. I see their eyes clean, free of wishes. The world that surrounds them is huge, but in their little box of what’s familiar, I know it has a the beats of my heart, mixed with their own and the voice of Cuchus, mine, some noises. I have to zoom in on the details to know who is who, even though they will look very different soon.
That moment, hours after the delivery, where I know and they know that we connect again, that I’m the same one, that those heartbeats that they hear a bit more quietly is a memory they have inside. And the quiet arrives.
The laborious reconstruction of their memory begins.
I’m lying down thinking of Mateo’s photos, in all the time that went by, what I did hours after each delivery. I go back in time, I feel a kick in my tummy, it’s my body’s memory. These photographs are the record of my first pregnancy, of the changes, the expectations and the feeling of uneasiness. Of the discovery that we have the power of creating life, of the little control we have over it. The wait, the nightmares, the light.
ALL THE APPLES FELL
What did I see as a mother in those shared vacations throughout the years? What would come to light in those long waits?
I read stories written a long time ago. Sitting on the edge of their beds. The eyelids fall, what hides behind the ordinary becomes tangible.
The furtive light, the trees/mouth, the trees/arms.
The skies, my children, their friends, animals… all that is living and lurking.
Small fragments, another story, closer to dreams, stemming from endless vigils.
The moment where light escapes, where you can see movements from the corner of the eye.
It is to grow and see how that portal between fantasy and reality that we could easily go through as children gets narrower and narrower.
It is to walking through a hallway, a forest with your heart pumping faster.
It is running into fear and pretend, they are the crumbles eaten by a bird.
There are no shortcuts to go back home. Only the long road that takes us to adulthood.
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