2023 — The Amazon, Peru
About this series
Initiated by the discovery of a series of enigmatic postcards from the early 20th century attributed to Charles Kroehle, a pioneer of photography in the Peruvian Amazon who mysteriously disappeared, Arguiñe Escandón and Yann Gross’s “Aya” combines historical research on the creation of the Amazonian imaginary at the time of the rubber boom era with a sensory immersion in the dense vegetation of the jungle, structured by shamanic experiences.
Through rituals and diets, vagueness, anxiety and contemplation of the forest succeed the certainties of an anthropocentric world.
Fascinated by botany, the artists have been studying medicinal plants and their photosensitive properties for several years in collaboration with Asháninka and Cocama communities in Peru. In order for the Amazonian forest to reveal itself, part of their photographic prints are made in situ from organic emulsions extracted from indigenous plants.
Arguiñe Escandón, born in Bilbao, 1979.
Arguiñe Escandón has a degree in Audiovisual Communication, a master’s degree in photography and another one in “personal coaching and emotional intelligence”.
Her images, which oscillate between reality and fiction, usually deal with topics related to psychology, emphasizing the processes of rehabilitation and inner transformation.
Her work has received numerous recognitions such as the Ministry of Culture Grant at the College of Spain in Paris, Europe Futures Photography through Photoespaña or a nomination for the Elysée Prize.
Her projects have been presented in national and international cultural venues such as the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid, Images Vevey, Breda Photo or the Wilde Gallery.
Yann Gross, born in Vevey, 1981.
Yann Gross explores, often in an offbeat way, how humanity shapes its environment and develops a sense of identity. His images regularly deal with the construction of the photographic imaginary and a means of escape. He moved to Brazil in 2008 to work on a reforestation project, and since then has divided his time between Europe and South America.
He has received several awards for his various projects, including the Festival de Hyères, Descubrimientos Photo España and Luma Rencontres Dummy Book Award.
Apart from Aya, he has published three other books, “Horizonville”, “Kitintale” and “The Jungle Book”.