Gerardo Nigenda from Mexico documents his life in images and then punctures through the print’s emulsion with Braille text, which rather than describing the events or locations depicted, focus on different perceptions experienced by the photographer at the time of shooting:
El inmenso aroma de mi afecto (The great fragrance of my affection)
El roce del viento y la seduccion del mar inducen a la interacción personal (The gentle touch of the wind and the enticement of the sea leads to personal interaction)
Entre lo invisible y lo tangible, llegando a la homeostasis emocional (Reaching emotional equilibrium between the invisible and the tangible)
I like the way Nigenda punches the Braille right through the image – as I noted elsewhere, all photographs ‘look’ essentially the same to a blind person. Nigenda challenges that and makes the images speak.
Nigenda calls the images “Fotos cruzados,” intersecting photographs. In fact, each photograph is a double blindness. (Or is it a double vision?) Nigenda needs a sighted person to describe the photograph, but the sighted rely on Nigenda to read the Braille. Both transactions are required to create or to read Nigenda’s images. The images unify the graphic representation of photographs with the coded writing of Braille. They make a light-sensitive material sensitive also to touch. But they perform an additional trick: they construct—even require—a bridge between the worlds of the blind and the sighted.
There is a dual content that requires interaction and dialogue between the two audiences – those who can see the image and those who can read the text.