San Juan, PR, 1950
San Juan, PR, 1950
Photographer, creator of objects, constructions, and installations, teacher. Vázquez studied psychology and sociology at the University of Puerto Rico, and has a master’s in education from Seton Hall University in New Jersey (1974) and doctoral-level work in education and comparative religion at NYU (1983). During the eighties, he visited the Orient to study the culture of India, China, and Japan. He then studied photography with Jan Jurasek and attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and the Maine Photographic Workshop. His career has earned Vázquez prizes both in Puerto Rico and abroad, and since 1983 he has taken part in countless solo and group exhibits, such as the Havana Biennial in 1997. His photographs, warm in light and tone, explore his fascination with the ancestral, with rites, religions, and dreams, and with the duality sacred/profane; with the body, its sexuality and death; and with pain and pleasure. His installations employ perishable materials such as straw, rope and jute, and such elements as dirt, bones, and dried animals, in an allusion to rituals, altars, and offerings.
In the last years my work has been focused in exploring ideas related with the construction of knowledge, history, memory, migration and identity. The basic objective and intention is to investigate and reflect on how the state (the establishment) imposes, reproduces and legitimizes acceptable social practices, and how it defines the knowledge and its reality. In the contemporary world we are living today, it is evident that there is a very thin line between knowing and not knowing... Reality and fiction, truth and lie... Every day it is less clear and harder to discern.
The current society is worried with formulating questions about the traditional concepts of history, memory and, in some instances, art. Every day we discover how the information that reaches us - about politics, religion, science, art and normal every day news-, is falsified and intentionally manipulated to create confusion and making it harder for us to make any kind of interpretation of information and events. We know that none of this is new, as history has always been written and controlled by the people in power. However, today's technology and its new means of communication, with all of its webs of manipulation apparatuses becoming more sophisticated each day, make it harder to provoke individual discernment and decoding of social practices. My art practice consists in establishing a dialogue between what is out there and ways of communicating, with the intention to problematize and generate questions about subjects related with globalization, migration, history, etc.
Currently, I am investigating the concept of the archetype of pre-established politics and the problem related to the displacement and dislocation of knowledge and communication. Art today, as a tool, gives one freedom to communicate using any kind of means. By intentionally creating metaphors through the use of language -the one it is used to manipulate and control-, and becoming directly involved with the community, I try to problematize and question the ways people perceive, understand and relate with one another and their environment.
“Using a conceptual framework, I intent to present, from an archaeological perspective, themes related to memory, history, migration, the body as semantic structure and the relation of word and image, presented to reflect on dynamics related to discourse of established construction narratives.” October 2017
Castellote, Alejandro. "Mapas Abiertos Fotografía, Latinoamericana",Barcelona, España: Ediciones Lundwerg, 2002.
“Víctor Vázquez 1989-2007”, Museo de Arte de Ponce, Ponce, Puerto Rico, 2007.
“Dislocation, encounter, displacement”, Seraphin Gallery, Filadelfia, Pensilvania, Estados Unidos, 2010
Rodrigo Alonso, Rosalina Cazali, Maria A. Lovino, Lilliana Martínez. “NO SABE / NO CONTESTA, “Prácticas fotográficas contemporáneas desde America Latina”, Arte x Arte, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2008.
“Body Politics, Prácticas Del Cuerpo En La Fotografía Latino Americana”, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2009.
Alejandro Castellote, Juan Antonio Molina, Iván de la Nuez. “Mapas Abiertos”, Lunwerg.editores, Madrid, España, 2003.
Contexto Puertorriqueño: del Rococo colonial al arte global, Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2007.
Poupeye, Veerle. “Caribbean Art”, Thames And Hudson, 1998.
“Mundos Creados”, Photography from Latin America, Ideas book, The Netherlands, 2002.
“Changing The Focus 1995-2005, Latin American Photography”, Museum of Latin American Art, Los Ángeles, California, Estados Unidos.
Zaya, Antonio. "Víctor Vázquez: Del cuerpo del Sentido de Eros y Thanatos", Catálogo Líquidos y Huellas, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2005.
"Mundos Creados 2002", Festival Noorderlicht, Holanda. Curador Wim Melis, Ensayo de Virginia Ratón.
Marshall, Alexander. "Obra reciente". Ensayo de “Significado y contenido”. Seraphin Gallery, Filadelfia, Pensilvania, Estados Unidos, 2001.
Sánchez, Suset. "Historias nómadas de un cuerpo híbrido y subversivo". art.es, No.13 (Madrid, España), 2006.
Ferrer, Elizabeth. "Víctor Vázquez", Art Nexus, (Estados Unidos), No. 51 Volumen 2, 2003.