Collection: Leandro Katz

Leandro Katz
b. 1938, Buenos Aires, Argentina; lives Buenos Aires, Argentina
Six black and white photographs from the Proyecto Catherwood, 1984-1995
Six silver gelatin prints
Dimensions variable
Collection Pérez Art Museum Miami, museum purchase
Courtesy of Artist

Investigations of the jungle as a site of adventure, colonial interests, and tourism inform the Proyecto Catherwood (Catherwood Project). These photographs are part of a multi-year project in which Leandro Katz retraced the travels of the 19th century artist and explorer, Frederick Catherwood (1799-1854). Catherwood traveled throughout Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras during two important expeditions, the first in 1836 and the other in 1839. During these trips he created vivid renderings of the Mayan ruins and tropical landscapes of the region, which were published in two celebrated volumes in 1841. His drawings are extraordinarily detailed and accurate, but reveal the romantic fascination with ruins and the exoticism of the Latin American landscape so prevalent in Europe at the time.¶¶Katz revisits the sites of these expeditions and using what he refers to as a "truth effect," compares their contemporary state to that represented in the 19th century drawings. Katz aims to capture both discrepancies and visual verification of archeological restorations, environmental changes, and the passage of time. His documents include images of the many tourists that now populate these once obscure sites. Interested in constructions of identity, Katz also seeks to highlight how a colonialist eye continues to inform our contemporary view of Latin America, which is perpetuated and promoted through tourism.¶

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