René Balcer, Forensics

20 Jun 2024 – 26 Jul 2024

Regular hours

11:00 – 17:00
11:00 – 17:00
11:00 – 17:00
by appointment
11:00 – 17:00
11:00 – 17:00
11:00 – 17:00

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Hutchinson Modern & Contemporary is pleased to announce René Balcer: Forensics, a solo exhibition of René Balcer’s photographs focusing on Argentina. Forensics marks the gallery’s first photography exhibition. The centerpiece of the show is Balcer’s ground-breaking photo essay "Desaparecidos" consisting of 44 images made in Buenos Aires’ elite Recoleta neighborhood.

In Forensics, Balcer’s photos speak to the complicity of silence during the years of modern-day caudillos in Latin America and to society’s willful blindness in the face of today’s rising authoritarianism in the Americas. In making these images, Balcer was moved by his own experiences during Québec’s 1970 October Crisis in his native Montréal.

In the photo essay “Desaparecidos,” Balcer photographs the “porteros electricos,” the electric doormen or call boxes of exclusive residences in the Recoleta neighborhood. Argentinian photographer and writer

Marcos Zimmermann commented on this body of work and references the historical context informing the images:

“Balcer’s photographic essay pushes us to wonder about the limits of art, and to explore the potential found in new conceptual forms of photographic expression. In a certain sense, it is an assertion that photography can still cast a light into mankind’s darkest areas.”

Forensics furthers Balcer’s continuing exploration of social justice issues through his photography and his work in other media. This is his first solo show at Hutchinson Modern & Contemporary.

"Balcer’s most distinctive images participate in the grand historical and metaphorical tradition that joins photography with detective work; the flâneur’s openness to a changing world with urban crimes; and 'seeing as' with eminently metaphoric meanings. Balcer’s type of forensic aesthetic resonances with photography’s history, with Barthes’s assessment of its noeme, and with our preponderantly surveillant society in which even an innocent trip to a cash machine can potentially be viewed as a potential crime setting, making this aesthetic both ubiquitous in our time and especially relevant to it." 

Robert Hobbs, “René Balcer’s ‘Seeing As’ and the Crime Scene Aesthetic”

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René Balcer


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