Rotterdam Photo | Marisol Mendes

Artist Marisol Mendes delves into who she is in relation to her female lineage in her series Madre. The experience is a return to the womb, a journey back to her motherland in Bolivia, where the representation of women remains whitewashed, unidimensional and phallocentric despite its rich loom of femininity. Mendes sought to challenge this inherent machismo and celebrates the diversity, complexity and contradictions of her country through the portrayal of its women. To this day, Catholicism and class struggles permeate society’s understanding of womanhood. In the series, family photos are deconstructed and women are depicted through the archetypes of Mary Magdalene, but repossessed to reflect Andean traditions. Piecing together past memories and current observations, Mendes’ series explores the influence of race and religion in shaping the perception and representation of Bolivian women.


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