Aldo Sessa’s long awaited photography retrospective is finally arriving at Buenos Aires’ Museum of Modern Art today!
Having been over 40 years since the Argentine photojournalist last exhibited in MAMBA (1976), porteños, expats, and all of its temporary/not so temporary visitors, just like yours truly, will have the chance to take a comprehensive look at Sessa’s most astonishing photos taken from 1958 until today.
Selected by Victoria Noorthoorn, museum director, and Aldo Sessa himself, the images have been chosen from an archive of over 800,000 pictures. Being such a huge collection, the search itself took the pair six months of work in Sessa’s Palermo studio. With a colorful career like Sessa’s, the exhibition crosses both continents and social barriers to provide a humane and intriguing look into times gone by. Covering most of the MAMBA’s exhibition space, Noorthorn said that through the exhibition, she had wanted to show the Argentine public a new way of seeing the iconic photographer.
Durante más de 6 meses, Aldo Sessa y Victoria Noorthoorn trabajaron junto a un equipo de curadores en la revisión de todo el archivo del artista para llegar a la selección de 700 fotografías que conforman la exposición ••Archivo Aldo Sessa 1958-2018: 60 años de imágenes•• pic.twitter.com/DIikIZFL66
— MODERNO (@modernoba) March 19, 2018
For those of you who don’t know Sessa yet…
Beginning his photojournalistic career at the young age of 17, Aldo Sessa began taking photos for publications like La Nación and La Gaceta de Tucumán. With his career progressing and establishing himself as a renowned photojournalist, he was able to cross continents, traveling through all of Europe, Africa, the United States, and of course, Argentina’s interior provinces.
Known as one of Argentina’s most esteemed and renowned photographers, Sessa has exhibited his work over 200 times across the globe and produced more than 40 photography books.
A loyal fan of the 35mm film camera, the photojournalist has never gone digital and rarely uses color photography. His illustrious career has allowed him to work with many famous faces, including collaborations with distinguished Argentine authors like Jorge Luis Borges and Manuel Mujica Laínez, as well as many Argentine tango dancers and singers.
Highlights of his collection include a look into Argentina’s social history of the 20th century, allowing us to glimpse the daily life of porteño citizens. Barrios like Barracas, La Boca, and Palermo (oh, how different you look!) all make an appearance, showing gentrification and change throughout the whole of Buenos Aires.
In terms of architecture, it’s clear that Sessa became fascinated by photographing the Teatro Colón. Being one of the greatest projects he ever undertook, he studied the theater throughout the whole of 1982, and came out on the other side describing the experience of photographing the breathtaking venue as heaven, purgatory, and hell.
Not by any means sticking to one subject matter, Sessa’s other passions included the towering architecture of New York City, which he used as a basis for his more abstract black and white pieces.
Providing a fascinating walk through some major Argentine political events, Sessa has somehow managed to capture the charged energy and emotion of specific times like the early days of the Madres de Plaza de Mayo protests, the arrival of ex-President Juan Perón’s coffin, and 1983’s El Siluetazo – a citizen-originated artistic movement, protesting the eight years of the last dictatorship.
Turning his lens toward portraits, it is clear Sessa is able to bring out the true character of his subjects, effortlessly capturing their personalities in one, or many, breathtaking shots. While some of his subjects may have been famous, that’s not always the case, something which serves to provide the viewer with a wide variety of pictures to see. At the exhibit, some of the photographs displayed show true Argentine gauchos, providing the visitor with a window into culture that could otherwise be hard to access.
MAMBA (Av. San Juan 350) | Until May 27th | Free entrance on a Tuesday | Tues – Fri 11 AM – 7 PM | Sat – Sun 11 AM – 8 PM | For more information, click here.