Chilean photographer Paz Errázuriz began taking photographs in the 1970s during the Pinochet dictatorship, and in subsequent decades travelled extensively to document the landscape and people of her native country. Throughout her dedicated practice, Errázuriz became intimate with not only her home city, Santiago, but also Chile’s central valley, Patagonia, and Valparaíso, forming long-lasting relationships with her many subjects. Her commitment to her subjects is steadfast—she is known for spending months or years within a given community, building trust and carefully studying social structures. During the dictatorship her projects were in violation of the regulations imposed by the military regime, as she dared to visit underground brothels, shelters, psychiatric wards, and boxing clubs, where women were not welcome.
In the words of author Gerardo Mosquera, “the spaces explored in Errázuriz’s photos—beyond the striking personalities—reveal an extreme aesthetic that also exposes the potholes and irregularities left in the path of modernization. Her work consistently focuses on the social marginality that continues to plague the country, thereby capsizing Chile’s image of buoyancy by intuitively penetrating the contradictions—the innumerable cracks and fissures—that persist to this day.”
Errázuriz is one of the most internationally recognised Chilean photographers. In 2015, she represented Chile at the Venice Biennale. Her work has been exhibited extensively internationally and most recently she has had a retrospective at Fundación MAPFRE which will travel to Jeu de Paume-Tours in 2015. Her work was also included in ‘Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins’ at the Barbican Art Gallery, London in 2018.
Errázuriz’s work is in important public collections including the Tate, London; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid and Daros LatinAmerica Collection, Zurich.
She has published a number of photography books, including El infarto del Alma, with the writer Diamela Eltit; La Manzana de Adán, with the writer Claudia Donoso; Kawesqar: Hijos de la Muer Sol; Amalia, a children’s book; and a monograph of her work entitled Paz Errázuriz, Fotografía 1982-2002.
Co-founder of the Asociación de Fotógrafos Independientes (AFI), Chile’s association of independent photographers, she has contributed to magazines such as APSI as well as many press agencies and has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation (1986), Fundación Andes (1990), the Fulbright Program (1992) and Fondart (1994 and 2009). She has been honored with the Ansel Adams Award, given by the Instituto Chileno-Norteamericano de Cultura (1995); the Lifetime Achievement award, given by the Chilean Art Critics Circle (2005); and Chile’s Altazor award (2005). In 2014 she received the Pablo Neruda Order of Merit.
A short film by Michael Kurcfeld about Paz Errázuriz for the Los Angeles Review of Books: