Estefanía Peñafiel Loaiza

Sans titre (figurants) (2009-2016)

For Untitled (extras) Estefanía Peñafiel Loaiza collected newspapers for seven years, selecting images depicting crowds of anonymous people and removing their silhouettes with an eraser.

The subjects of interest are figures that exist only as nameless component of a mass: people that lose their individual identities in favor of group designations as demonstrators, migrants, women, workers. These figures acquire a type of media existence similar to that of someone playing the extra in a film, like extras of the news, uncredited and often portrayed in the newspapers against their knowledge or consent.

With a meticulous process of erasure, that the artist refers to as capture, the extras disappear from the original image (becoming more visible in their absence) and regain their individuality as the eraser shavings are collected in single vials.

Each vial is accompanied by the source from which the image was extracted - name of the newspaper, page and date, date of the capture. The archive of anonymous extras contains 1000 vials, and is displayed in juxtaposition with the original newspaper pages where the capture took place.

This work plays with the paradox of enhanced invisibility, giving space, time and care to those mixed into the mass and restoring their individuality.

Photo credit: Estefanía Peñafiel Loaiza / Blaise Adilon, 2016

︎ See this work on the artist´s website