Christopher Anderson


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"'Capitolio' is New York documentary photographer Christopher Anderson's cinematic journey through the upheavals of contemporary Caracas, Venezuela, in the tradition of such earlier projects as William KLEIN's New York (1954-55) and Robert FRANK's The Americans (1958).

It presents a poetic and politicized vision, by one of today's finest documentary photographers, of a city and a country that is ripping apart at the seams under the stress of popular unrest, and whose turmoil remains largely unreported by Western media. No stranger to such fraught situations (he covered the 2006 conflict between Hezbollah and Israel from its inception),
Anderson notates the country's current incongruities, where the violent and the sensual intermingle chaotically. 'The word 'capitolio' refers to the domed building that houses a government,' writes Anderson, elaborating on the title of this volume; 'here, the city of Caracas, Venezuela, is itself a metaphorical capitolio building. The decaying Modernist architecture, with a jungle growing through the cracks, becomes the walls of this building and the violent streets become the corridors where the human drama plays itself out in what President Hugo Chavez called a 'revolution.'" (publisher's note)

"Rather than a didactic or journalistic approach, Anderson presents a poetic vision of a place where the violent and sensual coexist. (...) In 'Capitolio', Caracas itself becomes a metaphorical Capitolio. In place of walls, we have decaying modernist architecture built with petrodollars. They seem to suggest a time of opulence, but through the cracks grows a jungle that betrays a rotting from within.
The streets serve as stand-ins for the halls of this building where the human drama and political intrigue are played out." (publisher's note)