(Islands in Time)
Texts by Alex Harris, Kosme de Baranano, William deBuys, Jesus Buxo Rey, John Nichols, Maneul Vazquz Montalban
Published by The Valencia Museum of Modern Art, 2000
For thirty years Alex Harris has lived part of each year in northern New Mexico, responding to the vernacular life of the Hispanic villages both as a photographer and writer, but also as a neighbor and friend. Like the novelist, John Berger, Harris draws his primary inspiration and unique vision from his immersion into the lives and experiences of the people he documents. This extraordinary retrospective publication brings together for the first time Harris’ black-and-white and color photographs of northern New Mexico and his surprising, cinematic color images from the city of Havana, Cuba. Harris photographs these two manifestations of the Spanish diaspora with a curious American edge. In New Mexico, television sets frame both saints and soap operas; dancing, naked hippies are set in sharp relief against the traditions of Hispanic village life. In Havana, centuries-old baroque architecture and evidence of more recent communist culture take on new meanings when photographed from the perspective of the backseats of 1950’s vintage American cars. In many of these images, people are altogether absent, yet richly evoked through the objects they have made and touched, worshiped and used over the years.