Traveling and researching scientific expeditions in Peru, Mantilla and Chaves came across the book Los secretos de la Amazonía: Manual de supervivencia en la selva (Secrets of the Amazon: Survival manual for the jungle). This text was published in 1981 as an account of life in what the author, César Huamán Ramírez, calls “semi-civilized” places. Using a slide projector—a pointedly outdated technological device—Mantilla and Chaves reproduce the book’s claims about life in the Amazon alongside details of grainy, black-and-white photographs of the region. Rather than present the stereotypical colorful images of the region’s natural abundance, the artists render the Amazon as “a kind of anti-landscape”—a series of grayish, bookish, pointillist images devoid of romanticism.
Gallery label from Chosen Memories, April 30–September 9, 2023