“Oaxaca, rhythms and beliefs” series by Mexican photographer Frank Coronado describes the traditions and celebrations of a very particular blend of pre-Hispanic roots and well-preserved Catholic religiosity, and that still have the capacity to bring towns together.
Opening on tuesday, the 19th March 2019 from 6:30pm to 9h30 pm in the presence of the artist
Exhibition until the 19th April 2019
Frank Coronado illustrates this picturesque setting with a powerful black and white series. (Only the scenes at the cemetery are in color, illuminated by the brightness of the candles). A choice that gives intensity, but also a certain solemnity to scenes yet very colorful.
This relative seriousness contrasts with the agitation that prevails, because the ceremony is anything but sad, and all noises reflected through images. Fanfare music and sparkling firecrackers, rhythmic movements with a brass band, ceremony bells on costumes, everything evokes pleasure and cheerfulness, but Coronado likes to cover his tracks by unexpected framing.
Similarly, the singularity of some scenes in the margins parades with characters out of their festive environment are somehow surreal.
Particular attention is to be paid to the eyes, sometimes grasped through a mask or under a thick make-up, always deep, and which seem to question the spectator on its credulity.
Even with modernization, new generations and other religions gaining ground within the state, the traditions and celebrations still have the ability to bring people toghether. Preparations can start days in advance which leads to festivities during and after, because of this, patron saint celebrations can last for days or even weeks. In Oaxaca, there are 2 things that are always included in a party: music, there’s always at least one brass band playing and there’s mezcal for everyone, (a distilled alcoholic beverage made from different types of agave plants).
Nowadays, people of all ages enjoy being a part of these traditions and young ones are included to ensure the traditions are well preserved and carry on. There are communities where kids learn how to play an instrument even before they learn how to write.
There’s always an excuse to have a party in Oaxaca. They celebrate not only life but also the dead itself and is something that distinguishes Oaxacan people as they look at things from the bright side and make a celebration out of something, that in other places might be synonymous with sadness.
Long live Oaxaca and their fiestas.