About the Book
From the clash of forms synthesized in each vision arises its celebration of the human. He breaks that fourth wall of each dwelling - real or invented - to transform reality and make it his, with all viscerally and skill. The temporal sequence of the six photo essays and five videos, under the title of Ancestral Roots, allows us to see the intellectual continuity under the development of Méndez Caratini: Gagá and Voodoo - Dominican Republic (1990-1993); María Lionza - Venezuela (1991); Kali - Martinique (1992, 1996); Orixás - Brazil (1994-1995); Santería - Cuba (2016) and Kashí – India (2018). As we glimpse the dates, the artist revisited certain places, to achieve a complete vision for each project, according to its needs. Along with the photographic series, five videos are shown, in which the process of the cults is captured with great drama.
This exhibition awakens the viewer’s curiosity for a spellbound world, emotionally illuminated by a trance. Méndez Caratini’s photographs and videos refer us to regions united by the thread of diverse religious passions, built rhythmically by the plasticity of color, or the music evoked by the ritual through the moving image. We are in front of a master of the lens. We are facing an encounter with the sacred, and before this, we must ask ourselves, in times of crisis like the one we are living in, is salvation near, or on the contrary, is it further away than ever?
Héctor Méndez Caratini was born in San Juan, PR in 1949. During the past four decades the photographer and video artist has documented and promoted the cultural heritage of his nation. His artistic work has been exhibited in more than one hundred prestigious museums and galleries in the United States, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. His photographs are in the permanent collection of various museums. Such as: Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY); Museum of Fine Arts (Houston, TX); International Center of Photography (New York, NY); Center for Creative Photography (Tucson) AZ; Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico (San Juan, PR); Museo de Arte de Ponce (Ponce, PR); Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (San Juan, PR); among others. He has received numerous distinctions during his professional career, such as: the first Honorific Mention of the Casa de las Américas Photo Essay Prize, 1981, La Habana, Cuba; the Leopold Godowsky Color Photography Award (Photographic Resource Center, B