Stefan Ruiz: Factory of Dreams
$50.00 CDN $50.00
Hbk, 8.75 x 11 in., 176 pgs, 90 color.
SPRING 2012 p. 63
"This project started while I was creative director of COLORS magazine at Benetton's Fabrica in Treviso, Italy… With COLORS, I had photographed in refugee camps in Tanzania, a mental hospital in Cuba, slums in Latin America, and modern slavery in India. Outside of COLORS, I had done a lot of editorial work, which included photographing celebrities. Although the aesthetics of telenovelas were not really the same as my own, and I didn't watch them (except sometimes at the Laundromat), the more I thought about it, the more telenovelas seemed like a great vehicle through which to explore many of my interests, and also some of my own history.
With the actors, sets, and lighting, we could look at issues of race, class, and beauty through a very different aesthetic than the more traditional documentary portraiture we were using in COLORS at the time. I wanted to make formal, almost painterly portraits of the actors, dressed in character and on set. There was a wide range of actors. I was interested in the various types, and in how the definitions of beauty and class are often defined by race. Generally, thee stars look European. The maids do not. And the villains vary."
Stefan Ruiz, excerpted from Factory of Dreams.
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Stefan Ruiz: Factory of Dreams
Introduction by Pablo Helguera.
Over the past six years, Stefan Ruiz (born 1966) has gained special access to Mexico’s Televisa studios, known as “The Factory of Dreams,” where nearly 50,000 hours-worth of telenovelas (soap operas) are produced and exported annually to more than 100 countries. These intriguing tales of revenge, love, money and despair are one of Mexico’s largest exports, popular throughout Latin America as well as in Africa, Asia and Europe. Former Televisa stars turned Hollywood favorites include Salma Hayek and Gael García Bernal. Rogelio Guerra, who starred in Los Ricos También Lloran (The Rich Also Cry)--a show whose finale was watched by 70 percent of the population of Russia--once delivered the Russian New Year’s presidential address when Boris Yeltsin fell ill. Stefan Ruiz’s photographs of the factory and its people reveal a behind-the-scenes look at this special place with humor and affection. Ruiz’s photographs reveal a secret world of elaborate and surreal studio sets, and include portraits of the television stars in character and students being groomed for future celebrity at the Televisa “soap school.” This is the world of beautiful women, handsome men and rags-to-riches Cinderella stories, which reveal the underlying fantasies of social aspiration, as well as entrenched racial hierarchies. Accompanying Ruiz’s pictures are informative texts, plot summaries and bits of dialogue that illuminate both the factory and the dreams behind this fascinating cultural phenomenon.
Featured image, of Yadhira Carillo as Leonora "Nora" Guzman Madrigal de Orta de Palacios-Garcia in Amarte es mi Pecado (Loving You Is My Sin) in 2003, is reproduced from Stefan Ruiz: Factory of Dreams.
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STEFAN RUIZ: PEOPLE
Text by Stefan Ruiz.
ISBN: 9781905712007 | US $50.00
Pub Date: 6/30/2009
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