Gabriel Figueroa Mateos
Gabriel Figueroa Mateos (1907-1997), forced to work following the death of both his parents, discovered photography at the age of 14 while working as a laboratory assistant in a studio, before turning into a Hollywood studio photographer in 1932. Back in Mexico, he shot his first feature film, as a camera operator to Fernando de Fuentes, a success that would also earn him an award in Venice.
In 1943 he met Emilio Fernandez, with whom he shot twenty six films, before meeting Luis Buñuel with whom he shot seven films. Despite the numerous propositions, he rested faithful to his country, writing the most beautiful pages of Mexican film history, and to his freedom of creation. His regard covers more than half of a century of Mexican cinematic history, where he was present in every aspect of the film, from image creator to light operator, to chief operator and director of photography…. As film dominates his career, we should not neglect the photographer for his technical knowledge and his domain of the frame and the contrasts, but we should also consider his artistic dimension.
Curator Alfonso Morales conceived this exhibition as a video installation. The show looks over the rich and multiple iconography produced by the photographer, “the faces and the landscapes of the people chosen by the sun and obscured by tragedy.” Through this path, the visitor will find and discover as a counterpart the many themes and genres on which the filmmaker worked: thrillers, comedies, tragicomedies, dramas, epic movies, or even novel adaptations and miniseries… The exhibition is most of all the “confirmation of the existence of a multitude of Mexicos, some of which are only an effect of the seduction of images.”
The exhibition has been sponsored by the Televisa Fondation with the collaboration of Rencontres d’Arles.
Rencontres d'Arles 2011
July 4 - September 18
Gabriel Figueroa et le cinéma mexicain
Église des Frères Prêcheurs
10:00 - 19:00