FotoFest 2006

We all know that photographic images are the product of natural laws and a scientific process. That the “signs” of a photograph, if authenticated by testimony, let’s say in a trial, may give truthful representations. For this reason, photography has been a tool utilized by law enforcement and others to “record” and document criminal acts. The popular notion is that photography does not lie and that what we see in an image is “truth.” Evidence is but the “signs of things.” Dust is also evidence—fragile and ephemeral evidence of life’s presence. My English dictionary describes dust as being “the particles into which something disintegrates.” Aren’t our bodies supposed to become dust after we die?

María Martínez-Canas
excerpt from interview with Ricardo Viera,
FOTOFEST2006 catalogue



Cañas states, “I had gone through a terrible personal experience in my life that made me confront head-on how easy lies can be told and believed. How easy it is to bring devastation to people’s lives by telling lies that other people believe in. The popular notion is that photography does not lie and that what we see in an image is ‘truth’.” The images in Lies appear as snapshots from a crime scene, blurred to a point where one cannot distinguish details or boundaries of objects and subjects.

Maria Martinez-Cañas was born in Havana and currently lives in Miami. She received a B.F.A. from the Philadelphia College of Art and a M.F.A. from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. An artist who works with innovative, nontraditional photographic media, she expands the boundaries traditionally associated with photography. One of her most celebrated works is Años Continuos, a public art commission from Miami-Dade Art In Public Places, permanently displayed at Miami International Airport’s Concourse D. The forty-foot-square sandblasted photographic mural on glass was completed in January 1996. She has exhibited extensively, with thirty-three solo exhibitions and 175 group exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad. She is the recipient of a Cintas Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts award, and a Fulbright-Hays Grant, among others. Her works are included in the permanent collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Center for Creative Photography, Tucson; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museé national d’art moderne, Centre George Pompidou, Paris; Miami Art Museum; and National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., among others. She is represented by Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami; Julie Saul Gallery, New York; and Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago.

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