Art21 Extended Play

Politics and Dignity in Graciela Iturbide’s Photographs

Graciela Iturbide taking a photograph. Production still from the series ART21 Exclusive. © ART21, Inc. 2015. Photograph Courtesy: Pedro Meyer.

“Politics are already implied when I’m working in Mexico. I don’t have to say ‘Look, what injustice!’ because it would be sensationalized.” — Graciela Iturbide

Artist Graciela Iturbide discusses her personal and artistic relationship to politics and inequality in Mexico in today’s new episode from the ART21 Exclusive series. “We have such wonderful traditions—such wonderful people,” says Iturbide, who was close to leftist parties in Mexico. “But, it’s very sad that there is so much social injustice.” In contrast to her strong political views, she prefers to photograph people “independently of the injustice” to avoid sensationalizing their lives. Iturbide embeds herself within the communities when taking photographs throughout Mexico, attending events such as births and festivals. The artist is shown at the Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City where she produced a series of photographs taken in Kahlo’s bathroom.

CREDITS: Producer: Ian Forster. Consulting Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera: Joel Shapiro. Sound: Mauricio Rodríguez. Editor: Morgan Riles. Artwork Courtesy: Graciela Iturbide. Archival Photography Courtesy: Pedro Meyer. Special Thanks: Museo Frida Kahlo. Theme Music: Peter Foley.

ART21 Exclusive is supported, in part, by 21c Museum Hotel, and by individual contributors.