591 Permanent Exhibition: Liese Ricketts - Moving Spectacles

GO to the 591 Exhibition "Moving Spectacles" by Liese Ricketts.

I have been waiting for this moment ever since Liese told me in May this year that she was going to Peru to photograph; "Hey, my friend. I am taking a 4X5 and my Hassie and the theme will be interesting if it works out."

"Interesting" is of course an understatement, "Moving Spectacles" is a lot more - it is a series about struggling for life no matter what living conditions you are facing. It is a series that moves me deeply - Liese is not just reporting from some deprived neighbourhoods of Latin America - she depicts the people with the great respect they deserve.

I have told Liese that there are some pictures in this series that I regard as true masterpieces and that the rest are pure excellence. This is true and I am very proud to add "Moving Spectacles" by Liese Ricketts to our permanent 591 exhibitions. - Mr Urbano

Artist statement

Moving Spectacles or Espectáculos Que (Con)Mueven, this portfolio of work, refers to public spectacles which I photographed that (literally) moved about and that moved me personally. The body of work consists of 90+ images made in Peru in 2010. These images represent a significant selection of the whole work.

I visited small family circuses on the extreme outskirts of Lima during the day and photographed them (120 film, using a Hasselblad and Rollei).

Family circuses in Peru have a tradition of more than 100 years and have always been nomadic for two principal reasons. They need to change venues every ten days or so to obtain the needed number of entries to the circus.

Secondly, Los Serenazgo, municipal security workers, come at night and tear down their tents and ruin their things. The municipalities fear that the circuses might lay claim to the land, steal light from the electricity poles, and become a health hazard. Thus they consider their presence as illegal. Many of the families in my photographs are children and grandchildren of circus performers and were born into this word of itinerant artists. I visited six different circuses in toto in four districts, San Juan de Lurigancho, Comas, El Agustino, and Callao.

In addition, I learned from the circus owners that they are unable to keep clowns and comics as part of the circus on a regular basis. The clowns and comics are freelance and are paid from the take of the evening’s entries. 



Like a pregnant mother searches for names for her unborn child, I thought about the title of the work for some time. I found a reference to Fellini’s La Strada and I knew I had found my deep source; the film I feel touches my core. It was near the middle of working on this project that I recognized this seed that motivated me to go in search of something I was unsure about. As I worked, I found the working performers. I felt buoyed by the life of working itinerants and their struggle to move forward in life. I found each day I photographed I was more empowered by their interminable struggle and fortitude.


Lastly, I visited the insane asylum at Larco Herrera in Lima, on the day of their annual patriotic parade on the 28th of July, Peru’s Independence Day. I worked in Pabellon 8, the acute schizophrenic ward, with patients and volunteers as they readied the patients in their costumes. The love and care which I observed toward the patients from staff and volunteers, on this my second visit in two years, is a powerful antidote to the negligence and/or cruelty the insane suffer at so many other institutions throughout the world. Larco Herrera with its heroic volunteers stands as a model for humanitarian care, despite economic difficulties, that is exemplary.

I extend my enormous thanks to Srta. Graciela Carrasco, Joel and Milagros Vasquez, Mauro Arirua Torres and family, Carlos and Cecilia Lopez de Romana, Maria Teresa Landazuri, and Sra. Cecilia Bracesco, to whom I am indebted for their invaluable assistance.

All moving.

Liese A Ricketts, Chicago, 2010


La Declaración de Artista

Espectáculos Que (Con) Mueven o Moving Spectacles se refiere a los espectáculos públicos que fotografié que (literalmente) iban trasladando de zona en zona y que, por las personas y sus vidas, me conmovió personalmente. El cuerpo entero del trabajo consiste en 90 imágenes hechos en Perú en 2010. Estos imágenes representan una selección significativa del cuerpo entero del trabajo.

Visité pequeños circos de familia por las afueras extremas de Lima durante el día y los fotografié (película 120, usando un Hasselblad y Rollei).

Los circos de familia en el Perú tienen una tradición de más de 100 años y siempre sus miembros eran nómadas por dos motivos principales. Ellos tienen que cambiar locales cada diez días para obtener el número necesario de entradas al circo.

En segundo lugar, Los Serenazgo, los trabajadores de seguridad municipales, vienen por la noche y derriban sus tiendas de campaña y arruinan sus cosas. Las municipalidades temen que los circos pudieran poner la reclamación de la tierra, robo de luz de los postes de electricidad, y hacerse un peligro para la salud publica. Así ellos consideran su presencia como ilegal. Muchas de las familias en mis fotografías son niños y nietos de ejecutantes de circo y nacieron en este mundo de artistas itinerantes. Visité seis circos diferentes in toto en cuatro distritos, en San Juan de Lurigancho, Comas, el Agustino y en el Callao.


Además, aprendí de los dueños de los circos que ellos son incapaces de guardar a payasos y cómicos como la parte del circo regularmente. Los payasos y los cómicos son freelances y son pagados de tomar de las entradas de la tarde.

Como una madre buscando un nombre para su niño aún no nacido, pensé en el título de este trabajo durante algún tiempo. Encontré una referencia a La Strada de Fellini y yo reconocí que yo había encontrado mi fuente profunda; la película, siento yo, siempre ha tocado mi corazón. Estaba cerca del medio de funcionamiento en este proyecto que reconocí esta semilla que me motivó para ir en busca de algo de que yo era insegura. Mientras trabajé y encontré los trabajadores itinerantes, me sentí mantenido a flote por la vida humilde de ellos y su lucha para avanzar en la vida. Encontré que cada día que fotografié fui yo más fuerte por su lucha y su valentía.





Finalmente, yo visite el asilo insano en Larco Herrera en Lima, durante el día de su desfile patriótico anual el 28 de julio, el Día de la Independencia de Perú. Trabajé en el  Pabellón 8, la sala esquizofrénica aguda con pacientes y voluntarios cuando ellos prepararon a los pacientes en sus trajes del desfile.

Ellos, el personal y los voluntarios, aman y cuidan sus pacientes con un cariño impresionante. En esta mi segunda visita en dos años, observe el cuidado como ejemplar, un antídoto a la negligencia y la crueldad que los insanos sufren en tantas otras instituciones en todo el mundo. Los de Larco Herrera y sus voluntarios heroicos están de pie como un ejemplo humanitario, a pesar de las dificultades económicas que encuentran.

Todo moviendo. Puede que las imágenes le conmueven también. Amplío mi enorme gracias a Srta. Graciela Carrasco, Mauro Arirua Torres y familia, Carlos y Cecilia López de Romana, María Teresa Landazuri, y Sra. Cecilia Bracesco a quien soy endeudado para su ayuda inestimable.  

Liese A. Ricketts, Chicago, 2010

Comments

Tiberio Fanti said…
I just finished to look at the 62 picture of the gallery and would like to see some more. Circus and its characters has fascinated me since I helped my wife to edit and review her master thesis on P. Barnum and the freaks.
I wonder if there's any physical place where this body of work ison display.
Queenie said…
I will come back to look at these again and again. Thank you, Liese. Fran
liesericketts said…
This is all new work and I have selected what I consider to be the best of the portfolio in Peru for 2010 for display here.
I have not sought out "physical" spaces for the work yet.
My work is more about how small families of circus performers continue working despite the difficulties they encounter.
br said…
great work! congratulations!
Kim Mosley said…
Wow! So nice to see this new ork. Great angles too. Kim
Anonymous said…
Me gustan tus fotografias, creo aprender un poquito sobre Peru en ellas. Gracias.
Mikael said…
Yes work to enjoy over and over again, I´m very pleased to see this as permanent exhibit
liesericketts said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
liesericketts said…
TY all!
susana said…
Marvalilloso! Quisiera a ver mas!!!!
carl said…
The love and care which YOU observed toward the patients from staff and volunteers, on this your second visit in two years, is a powerful antidote to the negligence and/or cruelty the insane suffer at so many other institutions throughout the world. Larco Herrera with its heroic volunteers stands as a model for humanitarian care, despite economic difficulties, that is exemplary.
Grazie