“This place meant” by Alejandra Ugarte Bedwell

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Conversation with Alejandra Ugarte Bedwell

by Paola Núñez Solorio

How does a project like “this place meant” begin?

“This place meant” was the body of work created as part of my MFA thesis show and it came from an emotional place of feeling out of place here, in a foreign country, in my country and constantly in my shoes. The way the wordplay in the title worked planted doubt and question when confronted with the images, that did not made things clear but only reinforced a sense of missing part of the story.


In this project, you have a set of images that if you look at just a few of them, you wouldn’t think that they are part of a series, but once that you have seen the entire set, you get a feeling that they are all connected, which I find fascinating. How do you achieve this? Is it something that you planned since you first approached the project?

By the time I worked on “this place meant” my creative process had switched from thinking in series to accepting that most of the things that I wanted to pair together did not necessarily made sense at first glance. I started to focus more on conveying and creating a mood and a rhythm with the images than talk about something specific or telling a story from beginning to end. However, I do group things into books or projects sometimes, but I guess that is something that comes after the images have already been created.


What would you like to convey with this project?

 Through the images of the series ”this place meant”, I attempt to get closer to what cannot represented: the impulse of life, the impulse of death, a rush of blood to the head that comes with the acceleration of pulse and the pump of adrenaline, fear and power. I do not try to tell a story through these images, but to refer to a state of rawness and viscerality that I have learned to rationalize. In the end, this place meant is about the distance between thoughts and emotions and the quiet acceptance of our limitation to conciliate them.


About the artist

Alejandra Ugarte Bedwell, Graduated from The International Center of Photography-Bard College’s MFA Program in Advanced Photographic Studies. Her work has been shown in museums, galleries and venues in Mexico, U.S.A. and Scotland and she is a recipient of the 2010-2011 Jovenes Creadores (Young Creators) Grant from CONACULTA in Mexico.

In 2009, her book Finding Grandma Bear was selected for the Artists Books International Fair that took place in Mexico City as part of the Fotoseptiembre festival. She obtained an honorable mention at the 2010 edition of the New York Photo Festival and at the Camera Club of New York’s National JuriedCompetition. She has collaborated in numerous film projects as a production designer, art director and set decorator both in Mexico and the US.

For further information about Alejandra, visit: http://www.alejandraugarte.com

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