Question of Time. Notes on Photography and the Idea of Civilization in Nineteenth Century Argentina
The objective of this text is to analyze a handful of visual representations from the late 1870s and 1880s that express the complex dichotomy between the categories of ‘civilization’ and ‘barbarism’, a culturally constructed narrative that emerges as a contingent response to a specific conjuncture. The goal is to present the ways in which a series of images display this dichotomy anchoring its meaning in terms of the triumph of one over the other through different temporal-spatial references. I will refer to temporal (or even temporal-spatial) questions inscribed in the photographs: a theatrical handling of a past; the future projected in the materialization of the camera’s shadow; the showing of Argentina marching to a global, universal rhythm. In closing, I will examine another time in these and other images: the one imposed by their material existence.