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Roberto Fernandez Ibanez

Roberto Fernández Ibáñez, Global Unemployment, 2009. From the series Mountains of Uncertainty.
Courtesy of the artist.

Mountains of Uncertainty

I always liked landscapes, both the natural and the imaginary ones. I walk in the former with my body and in the latter with my mind.

There are mountains and valleys through which we walk without knowing it. They are unpredictable, unstable, and sometimes discouraging. In them we are but data, dots in a fictitious landscape that is not created by nature but by abstractions of the human mind.

I reject the language used in reporting macroeconomic trends, their statistical models, and their projections; I reject their threatening speech. But despite their materialistic facade, I perceive a kind of aesthetic behind the graphs and their changing geometry: mountains and mathematical graphs form landscapes similar in shape, but opposite in essence.

Behind the ephemeral financial status of companies and countries, and changes in environmental and social trends, lies the serene presence of the perennial: undulating mountains that call me to inner peace and reflection.

When the heavy weight of technology, political interests, and speculation exhausts me, I search and find shelter in my own mountains. I mold and print them, working like a hermit in the red cavern of my darkroom or as a cave artist would do.

Based in the real, my mountains belong to an imaginary world, an inner space that resides in my hands and in the memory of a hominid ancestor who responded to the same creative impulse that today we call art.

Roberto Fernández Ibáñez


Uruguayan artist Roberto Fernández Ibáñez has a degree in chemistry and is self-taught in photography. He prints his works using his own chemical formulas. He is interested in the frontier between the real and the imaginary, and in human behavior and the search for transcendence. He draws on mythology, symbolism, and metaphor as sources of expression in his work.

In addition to prints, he makes multidisciplinary artist books that include haiku, prose, drawing, photography, and mixed media. Fernández has exhibited his photographs in the United States at the Art Museum of the Americas of the Organization of American States, Washington, D.C.; FotoFest International and the Institute of Hispanic Culture, Houston, Texas; and Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. In Argentina, he has exhibited at Fotogalería Del Teatro San Martín and at Centro Cultural Recoleta, both in Buenos Aires. In Uruguay, he has shown work at the National Museum of Visual Arts; the Museum of Migrations; the Museum Municipal Historical Archive (Cabildo); and the Ministry of Education and Culture. In Europe he exhibited work at ABC Treehouse, Amsterdam, and Galerie Huit, Arles, France. In 2004 and 2014, he was winner of the International Forum Portfolio Review in the Encuentros Abiertos – Festival of Light, Buenos Aires. He received first prize of the Municipal Hall of Arts of Montevideo and the Morosoli Award in Arts in recognition of his contribution to Uruguayan culture. His works have been published in books and magazines in United States, Great Britain, China, Argentina, and Uruguay.

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