Walk, walk, walk, without stopping... return to study nature, feel it, show it from a new perspective. When I got off the plane and saw all these mountains I was overwhelmed; here is where I want to stay ! I had never felt so strongly in terms of physical belonging. The Antofagasta region changed my life. I needed to live the mountains and I live it in terms of total healing, walking sometimes more than 20 hours per day, drinking many liters of water, totally covered in order to avoid extreme burning... Getting to know with Luis, a great friend and guide, the remote paths thanks to his Shaman wisdom, each summit of the desert.
I talk to each mountain and say: The time will come when I shall have the pleasure of walking on your skin and hope that you allow me to get to your summit. I feel that the wind almost disables me from walking and all I want is to photograph the drawings that it leaves on the sand.
I care not only about the image, always highly synthetic and minimalistic; what interests me more and more all the time, is for my body to become an instrument of my work. At the Licancabur volcano the last time I went, I started at 3 am and reached the summit at 11 am. In order to do it I needed the discipline of mountain climbing and that energy that also nourishes my work. The body, even if it has reached its limits, is able to always get to its desired destiny. Later you collapse... but your wish was fulfilled.
Can you see the top of the mountain? That is the invisible line that I am looking for. Can you see that cloud in the sky? It is the ephemeral form that I am searching for and is no longer there... There is a fine line between life and death and that is the relevance of time in the natural cycle. Death is life and life will be death and what really matters is TODAY, this instant...
D. L-R. Chiu-Chiu, 2013
P A T AG O N I A N G L A C I E R S
The feeling of the passage of time and its urgency have allowed me to get to know one of the most remote places of the planet. The extremely cold temperatures have become lately part of my body’s temperature. Wind is the constant beat of the trip, and the ocean roaring, changing as the glaciers fall in pieces. Nature awakens in front of my eyes and its pulse follows the rhythm of the tides.
The crunching of the ice is always present simultaneously living and dying. The cloudier the day is, the stronger its colors appear. I could not believe it during my first visit: the waves were enormous and I could feel its incessant movement in all its purity, deep in my heart. Sometimes I became scared about the strength of nature, like a live answer to its approaching devastation. The water, the ice and the sky, joined like a waterfall in eternal movement.
The glaciers also allow us to see what no longer exists, what has already melted. Everything has been so dramatic, so beautiful, so unique and everything is contingent on time: what you can see now will no longer be there later and it would be useless to return since it will all have melted. Drawn and sculpted by the ocean and the wind, these dramatic natural shapes that I immortalize in the photographs, will never be the same again. They are ephemeral witnesses of the disappearance of the ice fields.
That disappearance remains in our memory and it makes us see our world in a different perspective. Photography has renewed my existence showing me the essence of life each day. And furthermore through it I have gained tremendous respect for each moment in time. As I photograph I start discovering a world not only seen by my eyes but also discovered by all my senses. Thank you Photography, for giving me my life back.
D. L-R. Punta Arenas, 2008
O B S E R V I N G T H E O C E AN
Warm October, driving for 28 hours from one state to the other to get to the desired destination, on the way to the Caribbean.
Already aboard. In the middle of the ocean, within its immensity and with my body moving to the rhythm of the ocean, I feel dedicated to the music of the waters and its mysteries throughout the hours.
Observing is a way of listening, and listening is an act of humility: what is the ocean telling us? I start a series of never-ending questions to myself: how do I show from my own perspective these stormy, passive, colorful, euphoric, deep, noisy, healing waters...? I was never able to find a rational answer. It has to be in the images that reflect the observation and listening. This encounter of the senses with the unpredictable.
Without water there is no life, this is where my work starts. This is a reality that does not need to be translated, my work becoming a universal language. The importance of time, and how time modifies what I see and show. This is what becomes essential and the combination that I search for between the simplicity of the image and the mystery of the reality, that I introduce without a defined identity.
Water taught me, here as in other oceans, that it does not contain itself, that it has no limits and it is the reason why my photography captures infinite oceans.
Textures, shapes and colors. Space, movement, rhythm and balance. These are some of the elements that I have found in nature, combined in this state of contemplation, with a clear conscience of being a witness of each moment of its capture. I feel that this takes me to a new form of creative freedom.
D. L-R. Fort Lauderdale, 2010
Text Denise Lira-Ratinoff original version
sand ice water catalog