Retrospective by Sergio Larrain

Andrea Raby
Sergio Larrain: Retrospective
At Église Sainte-Anne

Photojournalism and documentary photography are the main reasons I chose to go on this trip. As a journalism major, I wanted to be able to tell a story in a photo that words alone could not convey. As we entered Sergio Larrain’s exhibit yesterday, I knew the type of work that he had done was the work that I hoped to embark on as well.

Retrospective followed Larrain’s career, from his early documentary images into his later years when he combined drawings with his photography. Larrain photographed Chile, mostly the countryside. Although different parts of the exhibition dealt with different subjects, each image deals with the details of life that make the world unique. His photos focus on social commentary or poetic perspectives of everyday life.

My favorite part of the exhibit was photos of the Chilean children. The children are beggars that sleep in the streets. They are fed by the state until the age of fourteen and then are left to fend for themselves. Larrain captured both the loneliness of these runaway children, but also the moments of happiness within the bleak lives of these kids.

Larrain

An image from a video showing children that Larrain documented

From his photos I learned a lot about framing. Larrain used window and doorframes to accent the everyday quality of these photos. But Larrain also used unusual frames and lines to draw the eye through his photos in ways that I had not seen before. His exhibit was both inspiring and extremely helpful to view.

Possibly my favorite part of the exhibit was a quote by Larrain at the very end. It describes, I think, the essence of what Larrain saw in photography: within the images that he observes, he somehow finds himself. Larrain died in 2012, but I think his unique look on life will live on in his photography.

Larrain 2

Quote at the end of Larrain’s exhibit

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