“Hope in rays of hope” by Catherine Mamani Valles
Photographer Catherine Mamani Valles has already exhibited her wonderful photo series at Kaffeemitte - so it was no question that I would ask her if she wanted to show a recent work at CAW21. She had a series ready from last summer that would look great on a poster - and an inspiring origin story to go with it. What I particularly like about Catherine Mamani Valles' work is her approach of not only taking single images, but putting several images into a chronology, telling a story. Catherine Mamani Valles' signature are contextualisations, executed with talent and sensibility.
The accompanying text to "Hope in rays of hope" is positive and reminds me of a good old time. Dropping out of university, getting the first flat of one's own, disputes with parents and a step towards the decision to make art.
But actually Catherine Mamani Valles describes it much better herself:
"The series was created on a hot summer day at Teufelssee. It was a spontaneous shooting, the first photo project after a long break. I felt quite lost at that time for several reasons. On the one hand, I realized that I wouldn‘t be able to travel to India as planned to study and become a yoga teacher. It was a feeling of being powerless that I had never experienced before. In addition, I had dropped out of my studies and had not yet dared to tell my parents. On that June day at the lake, I didn‘t yet know what story I wanted to tell. It wasn‘t until I put the pictures into a chronology that I realized they were actually telling an optimistic story. The man in the water rises out and thus finds some light. My situation was indeed difficult and quite different from what I had wished for - but I did not drown. And this is how I want to look to the future from now on: more trust and less hope. Hope includes doubting and fear. I am no longer choosing fear, I choose love - and I trust."