Adriana Lestido

What Is Seen

by Marta Dillon

The challenge is to empty your mind. Or at least to get rid of the information that leads us down the same path again and again and so invite it to see things anew.

The image should return the gaze, seeking out its bearer.

That is how Adriana takes photographs, as if the shutter were a fleeting tattoo on the surface of the soul: a feeling. Once developed, that feeling becomes light and shadow in the game of existence.

It isn’t easy to expose oneself like that; it requires courage. To walk bare skinned, to make oneself available, to let life make its pitiless mark on one’s consciousness. That is Adriana’s gaze, and her photos enable one to see as she sees. They are beyond anecdote, although the anecdotes that gave birth to all these series present a dramatic contrast that allows the photographer to trace a path of vulnerability to which all of us are exposed.

To live, one has to know how to lose and also know how to tender to happy moments so that we can do justice to laughter. This is what Adriana’s stories are about. Scenes stolen from time, because that time is known and recovered by someone who can see. An imprisoned woman looking at what will be her dinner, yes, but also the evocation of simple hunger. A mother being comforted by her little daughter, solitude facing the enormity of one’s own decisions. It is there for all to see: the mirror of love, of the inconsolability, the wonder or pain of being in the world. There will always be a game of mirrors if one is willing to expose one’s soul and let emotion make its mark. Everything else is superfluous.

Adriana Lestido explores life through photography. In the mystery of everyday life she breaks open the fault lines, through these it is possible to peek and see ourselves. To approach the crack is a daunting challenge. The mere sight of it might strip the viewer bare, it disarms the defences protecting us from the tempest of emotions. But this is how the circle of art is completed. This is how, after this journey, something inside of us will have shifted.