Editorial RM / Musée de l’Elysée, 2020. First edition. Hardcover, 198 x 280 mm, 240 pp., illustrated throughout. Photographs by Luis Carlos Tovar. Text by Lydia Dorner, Joan Fontecuberta, Cristina Lleras, María Santoyo, Luis Carlos Tovar (English). Design by Nicolás Rouvière.
Shortlisted for Paris-Photo Aperture Foundation Photobook of the Year 2020
"The book Jardín de mi padre by Colombian artist Luis Carlos Tovar draws on the idea of post-memory as an exercise in the imaginative reconstruction of lived experience, as a therapy spanning generations that gives voice to what has been marginalised and produces new empathies with the past." Joan Fontcuberta
On 20 February 1980, Jaime Tovar was abducted by the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) and forced to wander for months through the tropical rainforest of the Colombian Amazonia. His son Luis Carlos, the author of this book, was just a few months old at the time. The guerilla fighters sent a Polaroid snapshot of their captive to his family as a proof that he was still alive. This project starts from the search for that uncertain photograph, but it reflects a process of rediscovery that transcends the event in itself. It is a poetic exercise that speaks of our finitude and contingent nature, that explores the legacy of the past as our only mode of survival. The absence of this fetish photograph activates a performative visual essay that has recourse to the mechanisms of appropriation and collage in order to remove autobiographical and documentary photography from their conventional frameworks.