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Adriana Lestido. Black Antarctica

ACCIONA, Casa de Ámerica & PHotoESPAÑA
Casa de América — Calle Marqués del Duero, 2, 28014, Madrid  

  • Lun-vie / Mon-Fri: 11.00 h - 19.30 h
    Sáb / Sat: 11.00 h - 15.00 h
    Dom / Sun: cerrado / closed

Entrada libre / Free admission
METRO: Banco de España | Recoletos. BICIMAD: Estación 20

Every end is a beginning. So thinks Adriana Lestido, and girded with this spirit she set out for the end of the world in the quest for absolute whiteness. She reached Antarctica with the intention of grasping what nature could tell her about immensity via the austerity of the landscape.
While on the continent of Antarctica, she was going to stay in the beautiful Esperanza Station, but the vagaries of fate ended her up in the Argentine station on Disappointment Island, and there in a tiny house on the slope of a volcano. The landscape was grey and black, and the ground was covered with hot sand and melted snow; the only white was the almost constant mist. Lestido had to reconsider everything she had expected of Antarctica, and therein lay the beginning of a new journey, Black Antarctica.


Black Antarctica is an emotional, creative confession which provokes and moves. It is about an artist and her quest as she visits dream-like landscapes and creates a direct, plain, unpretentious travel story. The smoking volcanic vents, the sealions, the penguins, the colossal whale bones, the depth of the lagoon, the interminable walks when the weather broke and allowed her to emerge, see the light, with its odd sunsets and sunrises, and regard the waters where the Atlantic and Pacific met were all part of her travel diary.


The photographs were taken in February and March 2012, on Disappointment and Half Moon Islands (Argentina’s Decepción and Cámara Stations), and along the route through the Antarctic seas aboard the Beagle. Adriana Lestido tries to photograph not what she sees but what she perceives but her eyes cannot see. She views photography as a tool that allows her to understand the mystery of human relations. Basic emotions are what give meaning to her black-and-white pictures. To Lestido, it is essential to know that she is doing something transformative for both the viewer and herself, and that the viewer can feel like the pictures she offers them are their own.
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