Large black and white prints of Aurora “Lola” Falcon’s (1907-2000) work fill the space at the MAC gallery in Santiago: New York City in the late 40’s, Chilean notables including Pablo Neruda, Nobel prize winning Chilean Poet and Ruben Azocar, the Chilean writer. There’s even a wrinkly close up of Albert Einstein.
Photo by Matt Bostock
These portraits are brilliant snapshots of eminent men and women: Neruda stops on a beach to contemplate a rock, frowning past the camera. Luis Enrique Delano the Chilean writer, smokes a pipe looking dashing-- Falcon clearly mixed in interesting circles.
Her streets and shots of the general public are perhaps the most interesting however, capturing everyday life in the 40’s in great detail. People’s clothes are fantastic: some wear long black coats and caps, some tight sailor-pants and stripy tees. Hair is curled, lipstick applied for that classic 40’s look.
An antique stroller stands next to a down-at-heel mother, reading outside a New York store. It’s a slightly seedy setting- only her little dog notices the camera. New York City looks familiar and foreign all at the same time in Falcon’s shots.
Then there’s one of a day-cruise ship in 1948, jolly passengers aboard, reveling in the booming leisure industry. And also shots of poverty: a fascinating subject in any decade. A derelict store-front, a homeless man in a dirty Barbour, a barefooted mother and child outside their slum-house; sadly still common sights today.
Falcon lived all around the world with her husband, writer and diplomat Luis Enrique Delano, taking photos prolifically.
“The photographic work of Lola Falcon is a cultural and historical heritage of great importance, both for its thematic variety and for the multiculturalism in her work," says researcher Andrea Aguad in estoy.cl. Aguad, together with Falcon’s son, Poli Delano, developed the exhibition displayed in the MAC.
Aguad emphasizes that, "The history of women photographers in Chile, until a few years ago, was systematically ignored by official discourse. Discovering Falcon’s work not only repairs this omission, but also challenges the traditional concept of gender and other key aspects that sit in the discipline of photography. "
The collection includes shots of Chile in the 40’s and Mao’s China. Popping in for twenty minutes to look around these small gallery rooms that contain so much 20th century history captured by this Chilean photographer- in such vivid detail- is highly recommended.
MAC Museo de Arte Contemporaneo
The exhibition runs until September 20, 2009
Tuesdays- Saturdays 11.00 h to 19.00 h
Sundays 11.00 h - 18.00 h
General CLP$600 (US$1.08)
Students CLP$400 (US$0.80)
(56-2) 977 17 41/55