Hills of Lima
The hills of Lima -an urban, social and cultural phenomenon of our city- are in this occasion the leading axis in the photographic work that Morfi Jiménez Mercado. After his well-known series Luz de las entrañas and The great comedy of life, where his attention is focused on the portrait of the inhabitants of Cusco, Puno and Iquitos; this time Jiménez's gaze moves to the landscape. The representation of the emblematic hills of Lima is not a foreign issue to the cultural production of the last 40 years. Since the migration from the interior of the country to the capital became a socio-cultural landmark, various artists turned their work to the depiction of Lima´s hills. Music, visual arts, literature and dance, among other expressions, found in our peaks a vast creative source. It is in 1978 and in that particular context, where the famous phrase "When Chacalón sings, the hills come down" was coined, referring to the iconic archetypal of the “chicha” music Chacalón, who sang to migrants living in the mountains of the edges of Lima.
The series Hills of Lima is situated halfway between the natural and urban landscape and the social essay. And it is that our hills ceased to be landscape to become an imperfect attempt of a city, being rather a breeding ground to analyze, from the photographic perspective, the social and urban reconfiguration of the new Lima. Jiménez documents this sub-urban landscape in all its breadth, with the resources of the classic landscape but with an explosive color treatment. The fluorine tones, inherent to the “chicha” culture, are intended to depict the rich range of colors that the migrant –mainly Andean- transferred from the highlands of the Andes to the grayish capital city of Lima. Photographic resources such as evident opposing-moving panoramic views, together with a kind of unusual composure and patches, alert us to an improvised city, a Lima that surpasses itself. Hills of Lima also offers us a typological reading of the hill, identifying similarities and differences that evoke us to the new urban profile of our city, in which a great diversity of cultures are integrated and reinvented to build a common project: everybody´s Lima.
Carlos Caamaño A.