Los Jardines de México begins with El Jardín de Juegos (Mexico City, 2002-2003), the first project Janelle Lynch made upon her move to Mexico City, where she lived for three years. Made with a 4×5 inch camera, the images, void of people, as are all of the works in the book, show the relics of a children’s playground conquered by nature and neglect.
The Donde Andaba series (Mexico City, 2005), made with a 6x7cm format camera, follows and represents a progression from the prior series in both content and form. The images juxtapose wild plant life with architecture and explore the subject of the persistence of life despite its ambient conditions.
Akna, the Mayan goddess of birth and fertility, is also believed to be a guardian saint. The photographs in this series, Akna (Chiapas, 2006), Lynch’s first with an 8×10 inch camera, are portraits of anthropomorphized tree stumps in a nature reserve, which investigate the theme of regeneration.
Lynch made the final series in the book, La Fosa Común (Mexico City, 2007), also with an 8×10 inch camera, in the functioning, century-old common grave, centrally located within the city. The photographs of vegetation in various stages of the life cycle, coupled with subtle suggestions of the setting, further the exploration of notions of loss and death that El Jardín de Juegos began in 2002-2003, while simultaneously celebrating life and its intricate beauty.
About the Artist
Janelle Lynch has garnered international recognition over the last decade for her large-format photographs of the urban and rural landscape. Widely exhibited, her work is in several public and private collections including the George Eastman House Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Newark Museum, the Fundación Vila Casas, Barcelona, and the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Salta, Argentina.
About the Writers
José Antonio Aldrete-Haas is an architect, urban planner, landscape designer, sculptor, and writer who lives in Mexico City. His most recent book, La Reconstrucción del Paraíso, was published in 2009. José Antonio Aldrete-Haas, the Invisible in Architecture, a book about his architectural work and gardens, was published in 2005. Aldrete-Haas is currently finishing a sculpture park museum in the desert of San Luis Potosí.
Mario Bellatín is a Mexican writer of more than thirty books, including Salón de Belleza. In 2002, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship, and in 2008, he won the Mexican National Prize for Literature for El Gran Vidrio. Bellatín is currently working on Los Treinta Mil Libros de Bellatín.
Museo Archivo de la Fotografia, Mexico City, Mexico, February 27 – May 8, 2011
Galeria 3 Punts, Barcelona, Spain, September – October, 2011
Photographic Resource Center, Boston, USA, November 29, 2011 – February 5, 2012
Robert Morat Galerie, Berlin, Germany, Fall/Winter 2012
Quinzaine Photographique Nantaise (QPN) Festival, Nantes, France, Fall 2014