Professional Commission Third Prize Winner

Pablo Lopez Luz was born in Mexico City in 1979 and graduated from New York University after completing his MA in Art in 2006. He lives and works in Mexico City. Lopez Luz's specific intention is to reinterpret the classical notion of the Mexican landscape (present throughout the pictorial history of Mexican art), through a contemporary point of view.

Lopez Luz's work has been exhibited in numerous group exhibitions and solo shows in international museums and galleries. Some of his most notable awards include: The Velazquez Grant (2005) awarded by the Madrid Cultural Council; the Jovenes Creadores Grant (2007, 2011) awarded by the National Council for Art and Culture (FONCA) in Mexico; the Programa Arte Actual Grant (2008), awarded by Bancomer and the Carrillo Gil Museum of Contemporary Art in Mexico; and the IILA Photography Award (Residency) in Rome, Italy. He is also one of the winners of the Alt. +1000 Competition in Rossiniere, Switzerland.

Commission Proposal – Lost Utopias

"Lost Utopias is a photographic project about the failed dream of the modern Latin American city. It is a project about the confrontation of history with the present, and the modern urban society's relationship with the past and its uncertain future. It is also about cities and the people who inhabit them, about their lost bond to nature, and their growing neglect towards rural societies. It is a visual approach towards the present history of Latin America, and its socially constructed concept of identity.

I have chosen to photograph four of the main Latin American cities and economic capitals: Brasilia, Lima, Caracas and Panama City. I choose Brasilia as the example of the modernist utopic city built from scratch in the second half of the 20th century. Lima and Caracas, capital cities were destroyed by earthquakes in the 1950s and rebuilt with a modern architecture plan in mind. Panama City is the second most competitive economy in Latin America, considered a Beta Global City and is probably the Latin capital with the most high-rise building construction in Latin America. One of my main interests in this project, apart from the specific themes or subjects proposed, is the possibility to work within a much broader physical scenario (four cities in different countries). This is an idea that has not yet been realised in contemporary Latin American photography."

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