Victoria Ahrens

Victoria Ahrens is an artist, writer and researcher from Argentina, based in London. She recently completed her PHD in Photographic Theory and Practice at Birkbeck college, UL and has exhibited extensively in the UK and internationally. Her work features in private and public collections in the UK, France and China.

El Lugar Perfecto (The Perfect Place)

Working as an artist-archaeologist I am looking for huellas (markers) hidden in the landscapes of a river. It is here, on the Paraná, that new forensic evidence from the EAAF (Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team) situates the graves of thousands of disappeared from the dictatorship years (1976-83) in Argentina. Through the use of personal archives, and historic photographic processes, I make heliographs, photoetchings and films at the site of disappearance itself: exposing and developing photo plates in situ. In this way I create art-archaeological records that sit at the edges of history, memory and photography, to create a personal ethnography of place. The slippages that occur between the analogue and the digital, the hand made and the material, reinvigorate debates about aura and indexicality. These prosopopeic encounters speak of alternative forms of narrating and reimagining/ re-membering the experience of landscape, while exploring the role of photography as a disruptive archaeological surface that resists forgetting.

—Victoria Ahrens