Location: Église Sainte-Anne
When entering Serigo Larrain’s “Retrospective”, I was immediately captivated by his photography. Upon first glance, his work seemed to illustrate the hardship of one’s life and more specifically, the distress of children in Chile. I found myself feeling sorry for them and pitying them, but then I realized that this was not the only message Larrain was trying to convey. These children were too young to endure the harsh realities of life they managed. Larrain successfully communicated the fact that these children were being robbed of their innocence and that, more appallingly, no one cares. Larrain was strategic in his efforts to only capture the children and their experiences. His photography throws this in the faces of the spectators so that we cannot overlook or ignore the struggle of these children. His photography gives them a voice.
As I moved along the exhibition, Larrain’s photos of people in London mirrored his concept and took it a step further. His photos evoked feelings of monotony and emptiness one experiences in adulthood that comes after one is stripped of their innocence in their childhood. In the earlier photos of the Chilean children, they are seen hanging off of edges, and straining for their next move. We see the same idea in the pictures of businessmen in London. Most of us can assimilate to this kind of life, but most us never connected it with the concept of “the loss of innocence”. This created a sort of unsettling feeling as I was drawn deeper into Larrain’s exhibition.
Larrain isolated himself from society in order to truly captivate this concept. It is a concept that is hard to see when competing against the natural domino effect of living life in one’s culture. So in confinement, he found truth and through his photography, we can experience a glimpse of his experiences and realizations ourselves.