THREE AUTHORS OF THE “GENTLER SEX”
Alice Kanji, Dulce Carneiro, Annemarie Heinrich
After the first wave of recognition of some of the Foto Cine Clube Bandeirante’s (FCCB) main authors – as well as a certain dazzlement due to the quality of these works –, new stories blossomed as such unknown images surfaced every day. However, it is not common knowledge that besides the male members of FCCB, women photographers were also producing and exhibiting their work, mainly in the annual International Salons at Galeria Prestes Maia in downtown São Paulo.
Taken from an editorial published in 1960 at the Boletim Foto Cine (FCCB’s newsletter), the title of this exhibition hints at the ambivalent point of view the Club expressed regarding women at the time. Helouise Costa, professor and curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art of the University of São Paulo (MAC USP), wrote the text for the exhibition’s catalogue, a new research on the conditions of women participation in the Brazilian photo-club environment in the first half of the 20th century.
We suggest viewing on a large screen. Smaller images can be enlarged.
Portrait of Denise Mattar, 1977
Vintage gelatin silver print.
30 x 20 cm.
Denise Mattar’s collection
Born in 1912, in Germany, Annemarie Heinrich emigrated with her family to Argentina, in 1926. Shortly thereafter, the family moved to Buenos Aires where Annemarie worked as an apprentice in several studios of European-origin photographers, starting her career at the age of 18, when she opened her own studio. Annemarie Heinrich was soon recognized for her technical excellence in lighting, becoming one of the most sought-after portraitists of Buenos Aires’ high society, intellectuals and artists, for over six decades.
In the realm of photo clubs, Annemarie Heinrich participated in the creation of the Foto Club Argentino, in 1936, and was one of the founders of the Foto Club Buenos Aires, in 1947. She presented her work in numerous national and international exhibitions and art salons. She regularly participated in the International Salon of Photographic Art of São Paulo, organized by the FCCB, association that sponsored a major exhibition of her work at the São Paulo Museum of Art (MASP), in 1951. In the following year, she created, along with other prominent photographers, the group La Carpeta de los Diez, as a reaction to the academic environment that then took over the photo clubs. Annemarie Heinrich remained active until 1995, dying in 2005. She is widely recognized nowadays for having made fundamental contributions to the construction of female identity and for having taken part in the struggle against patriarchal hegemony in the art world.
* Utópica represents the work of Annemarie Heinrich only in Brazil, in partnership with Galeria Vasari, representative of the photographer's collection worldwide.
Dulce G. Carneiro
Woman, c. 1957
Vintage gelatin silver print.
38 x 28,5 cm.
National Gallery of Art Collection, Washington DC, USA
Born in Atibaia, a small town near São Paulo, Dulce Carneiro (1929 - 2018) was a poet, journalist, designer and photographer. At the age of twenty, after having participated in the artistic and literary scene of her hometown, she moves to São Paulo in search of new experiences and career opportunities. In the 1950s, she soon joined the local society, approaching Flávio de Carvalho and Yolanda Penteado, among other personalities.
At the end of the 1970s, she took a turn in her career and began to work with enthusiasm in architecture and industry photography, traditionally dominated by men. Among the various and prominent architectural firms that hired her services, Oscar Niemeyer stands out, for whom she photographed nearly all residential projects. In 1978, she received the “Communication Arts Magazine” award in New York for the best photographic work published in the Architectural Digest magazine the previous year (December, 1977). In the FCCB, Dulce Carneiro was active between 1951 and 1971. In the early 1990s, disenchanted with photography and complaining about a growing lack of recognition for her work, which she attributed in part to the variety of activities she developed in photography, Dulce destroyed her entire archive of negatives, photographs, newspaper clippings and other documents on her artistic and professional trajectory.
Born in Bauru, state of São Paulo, Alice Kanji (1918 - 1992) joined the FCCB in 1951, to accompany her husband. Tufy Kanji was in charge of the FCCB studio, where he produced portraits, and Alice would help him in the preparation of the models. It took little time for Alice to start her own trajectory that lasted a little over thirty years, having been very active until the beginning of the 1980s; she continued to photograph and participate in the FCCB even after Tufy’s death.
Portrait of Flávio de Carvalho at his home, 1967
Vintage gelatin silver print.
30,2 x 24 cm.
Beatriz Albuquerque’s collection
Ephemeral presences: women photographers at Foto Cine Clube Bandeirante
[...] Regarding the Foto Cine Clube Bandeirante’s stance on women during the investigated period, a strong ambivalence in actions and discourses is observed. Such was the case with the creation of the “Women’s Section”. According to Eduardo Salvatore, then club president, the “goal was to stimulate women’s participation in photography”. Without the expected admission, he chided the women
themselves, claiming their lack of willingness to take to the streets to photograph. It is difficult to assess the extent to which club leaders were willing to offer conditions so that women could overcome the existing barriers to their work as photographers at the time. The lack of personal financial resources for equipment purchase, restrictions on free circulation in public spaces and the impossibility of attending courses and meetings – usually held at night – are some of the obstacles imposed on them. [...]
professor and curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art of the University of São Paulo (MAC USP)
in: Three authors of the gentler sex. Utópica (2020)
Three authors of the gentler sex?
When I almost by chance found the text that gave rise to this small exhibition, in the January 1960 Boletim of the Foto Cine Clube Bandeirante, curiously, I remembered my mother. She spent her life taking care, in her own way, of the house, children and husband, like most wives of her social class, in the second half of the last century. I thought of all these women who, like her, dedicated their lives to taking care of their families and I tried in vain to imagine the photographs they could have taken, the films they could have made, the pictures they could have painted and the books they could have written, were it not for the fact that they lived in the world reflected so faithfully in this text found almost accidentally.
Pablo Di Giulio
founder and director - Utópica
The blue, Demolition series, 1967
40 x 35 cm.
Fulvia Leirner’s collection