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Publication in the magazine Pasaje 4

Editors: Carlos Barbarito and Sergio Bonzón

Link to Passage 4:

Photos: Cynthia Isakson's “Hidden” series

Text by Carolina Kenigstein





Playful models. Outdoors or in the studio. In black and white, they flirt with the camera, behind which the photographer is crouched. For now, hidden. Models that dance in non-witnessed movements, but that are guessed, and that remain static, are printed in one frame - nine frames - that say a lot, but hide even more.

Models that offer their bodies show their gestures, free. They play with objects that produce opacities, barely perceptible; an interwoven mesh, geometrically perfect, that subtly covers a smiling face, a beautiful face, of perfect youth. Subseries of three.

A white balloon (white?) That hides a face, an expression, but nevertheless reveals a knobby hand, a skillful concealer of identity. Expert knuckles that prove to be from a mature woman who plays for a while, not to have a face. As in the game with a baby: Where is she? Here it is! However, behind the unseen, lively eyes are supposed, a knowing expression.

If we were in a dream, that balloon would fly out and appear on a beach, anywhere in the world, and it would be seen in the background of the sky, blurring in the presence of the foreground. The waves of the sea out of focus, cause you to submerge in that water that seems refreshing. And two that play again with the net, the subtle fabric, the veil that the photographer tries to bring down to catch what is hidden underneath. The jacket she is looking for. What is she looking for?

The sea and the waves bring more water. Now yes, unfailingly, a body plays to hide her face without euphemisms; she wears a handkerchief, a mask, a kind of mask, a diving suit that hides but shows other details, other aspects that, perhaps, we do not want to know. And although it is a naughty photo, in which it is perceived that nobody is having a bad time, it is an image that scares, uncomfortable.

And the water brings more water, of course. Just as opposites attract, so do similar ones. Now the water is crystal clear, it is moving, it is fun, it is cool, it invites you to play, to see who can hold their breath the longest. One, two, three, go! And apnea becomes the challenge; oxygen is the most precious commodity. O2!


Pool person.

Beach person.

Panic Scarf.

Posing person.


The models that pose disappear, the bodies disappear, and give rise to a trunk full of memories and also of projects that are glimpsed. A chest with old photos, a genealogical tree that establishes identity, filiation anchored in ancestry, and provider of identity to descendants. A chest from which, in a mixture of yesterday's objects, possible futures on the basis of past pasts can be seen.


Past present.

Permanent present.

Future possible.

Powerful project.


The closing is a meta-closing, the pinnacle of the closing, a moving self-portrait that shows and hides. The body reappears. And this body is nothing less than that of the artist. Because, finally, the photographer stands in front of the camera, with another camera in hand and two more; at least the ones you see; Will there be other hidden ones? Many cameras, of a very diverse nature, looking there, where it is seen and where it is not. The photographer plays it and sketches a difference, now she is the huntress, hunted?

Games of lights, dances of shadows, in a complex series in black and white, which also offers a grayscale that gives depth to each moment, to each specially chosen frame; a dynamic search, in the present continuous, a journey in gerund. A double, or triple, or infinite point of view; a search that is like a game of mirrors that has no beginning and no end.

Cynthia Isakson's "Hidden" series.

Text by Carolina Kenigstein.

November 2020.

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