Adriana Lestido

An Argentinian photographer that thrills Madrid

Lestido exhibits her works about bonds in the major photography festival in the world.

by Dani Yako

The shouts of the strike become deafening at the Cibeles Square; it is the end of the demonstration of leftist unions against the Zapateros´s restrictions. Only 50 meters away Adriana Lestido, together with a real army of editors gives the final touches for the exhibition “Difficult Loves” , one of the great exhibitions of PHotoEspaña 2010.

PHotoEspaña has become these last years in the largest festival in the world. In 2009, it had over 700,000 visitors and this year, its budget is almost 8 million Euros; although everybody talks about the crisis, it is difficult to see crisis walking in the Madrid center.

Madrid breathes photography everywhere. Lestido is thrilled to see enormous banners waving over La Castellana: “I have always dreamt of exhibiting my work here”, she says while she drinks a coffee at the Gijon. “I came to Spain for the first time when Alfonsín was here as President. I would have never imagined my work would bring me this far”.

“Difficult Loves” gets together many of the photographic works of the author, among them Adolescent Mothers (1989-1990), Imprisoned Women (1991-1993); y Mothers and Daughters (1995-1998).

A few days ago, in a multitudinous and chaotic press conference, Lestido gave some hints about her work. “My work is not related to gender, I do not only talk about women, though the absence of the male predominates in my work” she said. She was asked about Mothers and Daughters, the task in which she focused this bond more closely. “It was the most difficult task” she said. In Imprisoned Women (another well-known work) the idea of space was terrible but here the issue was human relations”.

In the present times of virtuality, being able to see photographs of 50x60 cm. copied in silver gelatin and mounted on wooden frames is a luxury. But if we also think they have come from Buenos Aires, we have an idea of the effort and commitment of the organizers.

Apart from Lestido, we also have the Argentinians Sebastián Friedman, Gerardo Repetto and Alejandro Lipszyc who were selected for the exhibition Concealments at the institute.

PHotoEspaña opened last week and it will last until July 25. Within this context, there will be sixty-nine exhibitions (21 official ones) where 379 artists will participate.

Photographers that work in different ways. It is worth the experience Lestido described: “When I take a photograph I am like a cat, sometimes I disturb, mostly invisible”.