How I Gave Myself a Black Eye Too

Erasure. Ana Teresa Fernandez.

I’ll be frank, at first, I really did not like it. It seemed too simple, too obvious. It seemed as if it was created at the last minute. I had spent so much time with the other works, and intentionally walked through her work. That was until I caught myself meandering through the gallery, and my eye caught a vulnerable photograph. It was the back of a neck, hinging a bowed head. The artful light, lines and motion captured in such a simple subject immediately gripped me. I wondered why had I been so intentionally averse to interacting with the work? I walked over only to meet emerald green eyes piercing through a black veil– with a look as if they were overcoming, and hadn’t broken a sweat trying. The lips look like they are letting out one last gasp before being enveloped by the blackness. The hands, the tools with which we inflict our agency on this world, are blackened to the point of erasure. Beyond the context of the piece the forced disappearances of Mexican college students– the photos are spectacular. As a photographer, I am still kicking myself that I wrote these works off early as underwhelming. They can exist independent of context, a magic trick which only some artworks posses.

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