Four women in the four corners that make up the Chilean territory converge in fellowship in this photographic project. Women living in different geographical locations of the country: North/South/East/West (desert, forest, mountains and sea) are accomplices to these characters seeking their place.
“se sacó el cuerpo
Se sacó el cuerpo y se lo regaló al viento.
Se fue lejos, muy lejos.”
Extract from the poem, Autoexilio by Virginia Wood (Chilean poet).
In a society mobilised by the great issues and their vanities - conflicts, wars, and perverse economies that disturb human coexistence - we find… unlikely, probably, four women - as perhaps many in the world - who decide to adopt a particular poetic way of living: that of abandonment, remoteness, introspection, exile, or self-exile. Pioneers of a life in solitude - a consequence of previous experiences - who leave their community or their family to live only by themselves, and, perhaps, a sufficient existence.
Unfriendly geographies and a climate that cultivates the inclination intertwine in the stories of these women. The sky, ocean, objects, forests, or hills are the images of the landscape in which these four characters live in their time and space.
The history of these women is enriched and acquires a new and different dimension when we try to articulate, from our imagination, a narrative. In this apparent reality that we perceive and interpret, we see the photographer who has, and shows us, their particular significance. We may think of apparent objectivity, but we soon realise that we are facing a possibly complex triangulation.
Reality and fiction are confounded in this evidence.
Travel, gender, territory, and portraiture, some of which are considered primitive subjects in photography, form part of the readings we can decipher and combine in the narrative, guided by everyday elements of their respective characters and images from an aesthetic inspired by certain photographic traditions. It is no coincidence either, that in this series, the protagonists are adult women who live alone, which puts on the table issues, not lacking actuality, in a particular and no less political way.
If we think, as well, that every portrait and every form of photography is also a form of self-portraiture, we may think that we are confronted with a photographer who is capturing herself. These women, in these four geographical locations, in the context of landscapes and objects that form an important part of the work, become an excuse to give shape to a work or experience that goes beyond the subjects.
They are the women of the story, and their context is the pretext to Catalina Juger articulating her own fiction through her ability with the camera, and her committed approach.
“Contrary to what history has instilled in us, photography belongs to the field of fiction much more than that of the truth … Photography is pure invention. All photography. Without exception.”
Joan Fontcuberta, El beso de Judas, Editorial Gilli, 1997.