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Fotografies de Sebastián Freire

Sonica Satana 2020,© Sebastián Freire




Project Presentation


Well before the emergence of language, there was gesture, as proposed by the anthropologist Marcel Jousse. Human voice, first shouted and then gradually articulated, represents the most sublime form of mimicry and an appeal to the highest of destinies. But before addressing oral style, it’s best to begin with the psychology of gesture.


The body is not just a thing or a datum, and neither is it a mere social construct. Rather, it’s all of these things and, by similar reasoning, it is an event. There being something recognised within living flesh as a body (and then as one’s own body) is a political event. Because, if the body is the first place of expression, it is also the site of the most primal inscriptions (gender, race, class).


Then arriving to the body are the normative systems that stereotype the forms of flesh, turning the body into a site of obsessive inscriptions (modals, manners, professional movements). But the styles of the flesh are still there, often in conflict with the imaginaries that have captured it.


Traditionally, those styles of the flesh were understood as aesthetic forms applied to a determined idea, a stylisation (Rubens’ style, Caravaggio’s style, Picasso’s style, Modigliani’s style, Goya’s sytle, Velázquez’s style, Nicola Constantino’s style, Vogue style, Dove style, gothic style, pop style).


But soon the flesh rebelled against these aesthetic-social norms of adaptability and demanded the visibility of its expressive tensions. The styles of the flesh have burst into a thousand iridescences that reveal the expression of bodies, with total disregard for the social conventions of representation, and become one, beyond the determinations of gender, class, and race.


The people portrayed aspire to happiness and are confident that they will only attain it if they encounter a gaze that restores the flesh to its state of beauty and truth. Thus, the meeting between the photographer and those wanting to be photographed becomes an event, a gesture whose political scope lies in showing the infinite research on the self that is, today, not only possible but necessary.




The aim of the exhibition is to postulate the body and the flesh as the site of inscriptions and markings. What is a marked body? And of what nature are the marks that a body carries forward? Are they like a sore or like a torch? Or whichever you prefer? These are the questions that the exhibition poses.


Secondly, if the body is an archive of these marks (expressive or socially significant), the styles of the flesh will be revealed as the result of the struggle between expressivity and standardisation.


Marks or styles of the body could be of age, gender, race, sickness, mutilation, but also gestures, expressions, and the ways bodies stand in front of the world, or even the renunciation of the most imposed marks (gender, race, class). The style of the flesh is the flesh assumed as its own body and photography is a styling of the flesh in transition to places still not yet thought of or not fully realised in thought.


The exhibition presents a series of 40 large-format photographs by Sebastián Freire, of which nearly all were taken in studio. Some of these photos have been included in previous exhibitions and a select few were published in the Argentinian press. But the majority of the photos are unedited and were taken following the same trajectory of thought the photographer has been pursuing for years.


They make up neither a gallery nor a repertoire. Each photo asks the viewer to consider everything from which the flesh adopts a style. Each body is a universe of contradictions and each photo illustrates a battle field.


This activity is part of the Archives in Transition project: Collective memories and subaltern uses, European Union MSCA-RISE programme, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, ref. 872299.




Sebastián Freire was born in Buenos Aires in 1973. He studied photography and Communication Sciences at the  Buenos Aires's University.

Among others, he has produced the following photographic exhibitions:

“Sebastiano, der Märtyrer” (Café Sundström, Berlín: 2006),

“Typen” (galería Tornado am Ostkreuz, Berlín: 2006; i Galería casaBrandon, Buenos Aires: 2007),

“9 reinas” (Meridión – arte contemporáneo, Buenos Aires: 2008),

“Escenas de la vida cotidiana” (Espacio Ecléctico, Buenos Aires: 2009),

“El estilo soy yo” (La Casona, Ciudad de Panamà: 2009),

“Milongas” (Auditorium Parco della Musica, Roma: 2010),

“Formas de vida” (Centro Cultural Ricardo Rojas, Buenos Aires: 2010),

“Chicas, chicos, ciudad y deseo” (Centro Cultural de España en Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires: 2011),

“¿Qué es un autor?”, en La 38ª Fira Internacional del Llibre de Buenos Aires 2012 (Buenos Aires: del 19 d'abril a 7 de maig de 2012),

“En obra. Una instalación sonora” (Juntament amb Elena Donato, Valentín Díaz i Daniel Link) en el context de la mostra Buenos Aires (Fundación Proa, del 24 d'agosto al 27 d'octubre de 2013).

“Cuerpos marcados: diagrama, fantasma, inscripción” en la Universitat de Princeton, USA (2014)

“Archivos del Goce y del Deseo” (formant part del col·lectiu Quri Kancha), videoperformance, a la Galería Gurruchaga 2465. (Buenos Aires, novembre de 2017).

Foco Sebastián Freire, en la sección “La Piel que Habito”, del Festival Internacional de cine Asterisco 2017 (Buenos Aires, 2 de noviembre de 2017).

“Amor y amistad”, en el espacio Orgullo y Prejuicio de la 44ª Feria Internacional del Libro de Buenos Aires 2018 (Buenos Aires: 27 de abril al 13 de mayo de 2018).

“Plumas”, a l'espai Orgullo y Prejuicio de la 45ª Fira Internacional del Llibre de Buenos Aires 2019 (Buenos Aires: del 26 d'abril al 13 de maig de 2019)

“Otras vidas, otros cuerpos”, Centro Cultural 220 ( Córdoba: del 17 de març al 12 de maig de 2022)



In April 2008, he received the award for best video art at the Festival de cine IDEM (Córdoba, Andalusia) for his video titled “Rainbow.” In 2009, he created the documentary short film titled “Cómo me hice gay...” that participated in several international film festivals. In 2012, he participated as director of photography in the audiovisual piece “La Scéne Impossible” by Albertina Carri. In 2014, he presented his short film “El ojo de Dios” at the International LGBTIQ Film Festival: ASTERISCO.