Special Days: The Studio and Its Archive, a project by Yvonne Venegas, emerges out of the recovery of images from the archive of the commercial photography studio Venegas Fotografía Fina, which was established by her parents José Luis and Julia Edith in Tijuana, Baja California, in 1972.
The exhibition reflects on the methodologies behind the wedding portraits produced by the studio, while questioning the relationship between personal photography and the practice of contemporary artistic research.
Through the appropriation of images and by applying an acute analytical exercise to them, Special Days presents the routines that defined the iconography of the emerging middle class that lived in this border city during the 1970s and 1980s. The selection made by Yvonne Venegas from the vast universe of negatives accumulated by the studio over decades of work is rooted in an artistic interest that privileges those images that were discarded, those that did not meet the expectations of the idealized portrait, or that suffered accidents. Through such errors, the artist reveals a social imaginary that extends beyond the original uses of the image.
The artist’s research also documents the historical evolution of photography, presenting some of the technical and compositional innovations - imported from the United States after the 1960s - and their implications for the construction of the aesthetic that was characteristic of a particular social identity.