Guillermo Srodek-Hart, “Town Barber”, 2013
Archival Pigment Print
92 x 112 cm
Exploring the rural surroundings of Buenos Aires, Guillermo Srodek-Hart used his 4x5 camera to capture the interior of old commercial establishments. Butcher’s shops, bars, bicycle repair shops and dry cleaners were photographed in the manner of a still life, thus devotionally consecrating objects intended for consumption to an unalterable condition. For many of these places, the record made by Srodek-Hart was the last depiction of a disappearing world. Without changing a single item in the scene, Srodek-Hart installed his plate camera and hid behind a black drape in order to compose the picture and focus the camera. During the long exposure, it seemed as though time stood still. Despite the fact that neither the owners nor any of their customers appear in them, the photographs capture traces of a human presence reflected in the organisation of the objects and in the manner of the labour we can imagine taking place in each of the sites. These photographs express both visible and invisible elements and, ultimately, operate as a kind of vanitas, in which the imminent extinction of these old shops reminds us of the transient condition of the 'forms' of life that the modern city tends to defeat, affecting the realm of what has therefore become its opposite; the rural way of life.
Guillermo Srodek-Hart was born in 1977 in Buenos Aires. He studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at the University of Boston and the College of Art Boston, where he received his MFA in 2008. In 2005 he received the "Jorge Klemm Award", and in 2006 the "Petrobras Award". His works were shown in several solo and group shows in Argentina and the US. A selection of his series "Stories" is currently shown at the 55th Venice Biennale. He lives and works in Buenos Aires and the Argentinian Pampas.