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Misk'i Kachi Runakuna: Traveling Show

Forty kilometers north of Cuzco, in Peru’s Sacred Valley, near the town of Maras, are a complex of salt ponds that have been producing salt since pre-Inca times. Salt and mineral-rich subterranean streams are channeled into hundreds of ponds on terraced hillsides, where the mountain air evaporates the water, leaving salt crystals to be harvested by hand. These salt ponds and the lifeworlds they support are the subject of complementary bodies of work by American photographer Laurence Salzmann, exhibited here in the United States for the first time.

Made between 2016-2020 in multiple visits to Peru, including a four month period during which Salzmann was a Fulbright Fellow, these photographs explore the contemporary forms of an ancient Quechua-speaking world. This world is characterized by an extraordinary symbiosis of natural beauty, human ingenuity, and ecological wisdom. Salzmann’s black-and-white photographs of the salt ponds are ethereal and abstract, inviting open-ended contemplation. His color photographs of the people of Maras are not an effort to “capture” the mestizaje society, rather something like the reverse—an effort to release it into pictures. If each day Salzmann spent in Peru were like a piece of fruit, his photographs are like drops gently squeezed from them, one by one: none captures the whole, but each concentrates something of the whole in itself. - Jason Francisco

"The duality of the cosmos and the world that surrounds mankind
is an idea basic to Andean thought: day and night, man and woman are so distinct,
but together are they able to create harmony

-- Yolanda Carbajal Zuniga, text from Misk’i Kachi//Sweet Salt// Sal Dulce.


The Show at Taller Puertorriqueño

Artblog's review of the Show.

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