Friday, March 25, 2016

Roberto M. Tondopó - Casita de Turrón, a strange and wonderful book


When recently in Wellington for the Photobook Festival I came across Roberto M. Tondopó's amazing book Casita de Turrón or Gingerbread House. Tondopó is a Mexican photographer and not surprisingly the pictures in this book are saturated with the hues of dusty turquoise, faded pinks and acid yellows. Underlying these bright and cheerful colors there is something sinister going on. The book is like a Pedro Almodóvar movie on speed. 
Each chaotic frame has a complex narrative that draws the reader in, you are left wanting to work out what really is going on. The layered pictures surprise with small details that once observed add a malevolent twist, a sort of "stone in the shoe" that makes one question what seems to be the obvious. For example the boy in the oven with the broken egg shells on the floor. The boy in the bed with a hand at the window. This is a strange, complex and compelling book, hard to work out and hard to put down.

Roberto Tondopó talks about Casita de Turrón: It is a book about the transition between childhood and adolescence of my nephews, Andrea and Angel. Although settled in reality, it is a fictional narrative evoking the transition period in the development of our sexuality.  My interest is to detonate those parts of the repressed unconscious... touching aspects of the sinister, to open the threshold of representation of the image that alludes all interpretation.  My work revolves around... a need to restore those deep connections between past and present, fantasy and memory.

Here are some photographs from Casita de Turrón. You can see the book in its entirety on a vimeo video HERE.

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