Born in Ensenada, photographer Livia Corona Benjamin depicts the social performance of architecture in her work. Focusing mainly on her native Mexico, her photos range from hypnotizing rows of seemingly vast housing developments to carefully framed group portraits of local residents. Recently, Corona Benjamin was honored with the 2019 Julius Shulman Institute Excellence in Photography Award.
Woodbury University's JSI presents the prestigious annual award to an early or mid-career artist whose work embodies the legacy of architectural photographer Julius Shulman. It features a notable roster of recipients, including Benny Chan, Todd Eberle, Hélène Binet, Grant Mudford, Pedro E. Guererro, Catherine Opie, Richard Barnes, and Iwan Baan.
Starting June 28, Corona Benjamin will have a solo exhibition at the WUHO Gallery in Hollywood. Check out some of her photos below.
Along with her videos and paintings, Corona Benjamin's photos explore the relationship between local residents and the buildings they construct, inhabit, and use, highlighting narratives that have been repressed or marginalized. The photos also depict the roles that the government plays in urban and rural planning in Mexico.
“Her projects examine present-day colonial legacies while also challenging the persistent belief in modernism as the ultimate architectural paradigm for the Americas,” the JSI says on Corona Benjamin's work. “In her ongoing photographic and formal experimentation, which moves constantly between representation and abstraction, Corona Benjamin also responds to broader questions about artistic production and to the tension between the industrial and the handmade.”
Based in New York and Mexico City, Corona Benjamin has become one of the most important photographers of her generation, and is also a lecturer and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow for her project “Two Million Homes for Mexico”. Another one of her notable projects includes “Nobody Knows, Nobody Knew”, which delves into the socio-political history of over 4,000 grain silos that were built throughout Mexico’s agrarian communities between the 1960s-90s by the country’s Commission for Food Subsistence. Her works have been exhibited worldwide and are in the permanent collections of institutions like the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Portland Museum of Art, the Berezdivin Collection in Puerto Rico, and more.
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