At first glance, Unfathomable Humanity may seem like an irresponsible work of art. The series of photo collages appropriates images from a variety of sources without regard for context or attribution. They freely mix images of torture, murder, and mutilation with portraits of some of the most powerful and influential men in world history. But Lisdebertus does not intend to obscure the lines of responsibility, but to call for greater accountability. He employs a blunt visual language to postulate the links between unspeakable acts of violence and the high-ranking perpetrators who often get away with them. It reminds us, forcefully, that violence is inexcusable, and that someone is always responsible.
Sharon Mizota, Art Critic
Excerpt from her essay A World of Hurt in the FOTOFEST2006 catalogue
As we enter the twenty-first century, it becomes evident that “inhumanity” is still a major force, even as we deem it “unfathomable”. As these photographic panels posit, we commit daily acts of “inhumanity” in the name of an ideal and from deep within our human institutions. Each piece is a montage of old drawings, photographs, and video stills representing well-known violent occurrences, past and present.
“What is said is done, what is lost is doomed, what is forgotten is dammed."
Luis Delgado Qualtrough became a photographer in Mexico, where he grew up. He began his work documenting folk mores and customs, as well as pre-Columbian artifacts. Today he is particularly interested in exploring different aspects of visual narrative with an emphasis on iconography and gesture. He creates photography-based prints, books, and installations with history and societal systems as the theme, specifically the concept of the hero and the anti-hero. He uses a visual language of icons and gestures assembled into compound images to create narratives that address this concept. This language consists of photographs of iconography and inanimate representations from many historical and mundane settings throughout the world, as well as imagery taken from mass media. Delgado’s goal is to achieve a uniquely personal social commentary and analysis using iconography as its voice.
He has recently received the Peter S. Reed Foundation Award and the Communications Arts Award of Excellence, and he was named a “Discovery’’ in Houston’s FotoFest 2004. His work has been exhibited and published widely in Latin America, Europe, and the U.S., and is held in museums and private collections including those of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Stanford University, California; Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin; Bibilothèque national, Paris; and Union of Culture, Germany.
Photography 414 Gallery, Unfathomable Humanity, Fotoseptimbre – Fotoseptiembre, September 1 – October 6, 2006, http://www.photography414.com