As jigsaw puzzles piece together to a form a visual image, the sedimentation of symbols within Christto & Andrew’s photographs reveal the affects of history, politics, the economy and popular culture onto the construction of contemporary society specifically found in the Gulf region. Using Qatar as an example, exaggerated colors, staged compositions and uncanny humor highlight this constant development, and the malleable state of transformations into which its multitude of lifestyles are nurtured and interact.
In the same way, scavenged objects are transformed into cement molds and regular people into models through photography to subvert and further notions of value, commodification and occupation. As a result, each object and character within their photographs becomes symbolic reflections of these stratifications found in Qatari society.
Christto and Andrew’s images, therefore, do not to criticize but rather highlight two parallel dialogues-a local one and an expatriate one, which equally weave together this complex network of cultures and subcultures evident in most Gulf and MENA contexts.
Christto and Andrew’s practice has evolved as a symbiotic process strengthen by a cross-pollination of their differing backgrounds. Christto Sanz (b.1985) received a BA from the School of Fine Arts, Puerto Rico before completing his Master in Visual Communication & photography from Elisava, Spain. Andrew Weir (b. 1987) holds a BBA from Universtitat Ramon Llull, Spain and an MA in Museum & Gallery Practice from University College London in Qatar. Together they produce photography, mixed media objects and videos exploring social identities, the media and reinterpretations of history.
The Puerto Rican and South African duo currently reside and work in Qatar and Denmark. Their work has been exhibited in the MiddleEast, The United States, Central America and Europe.
download in PDF