In a context in which expression was not free, in which cultural institutions often served as a screen for criminal power, photographers explored the margins of their art, turning sometimes to archival images, which they appropriated. It is this gesture that Helen Zout has reproduced openly, much later, for an exhibition at the Centro Cultural Recoleta in Buenos Aires, in one of the oldest buildings in the city, bearing witness to the persistence of absences, the collective consciousness of which has been undermined by state-sponsored violence.
Born in 1957 in Carcarañá, Argentina. Lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Helen Zout took part in the founding of the photo gallery Omega in La Plata 1980 and she is also a founding member of the Núcleo de Autores Fotográficos (1984). In 1989 she received a grant from the Fondo Nacional de las Artes in Argentina and in 2002 a Guggenheim fellowship in the United States. Her photographic work focuses especially on social questions and mental health issues. She has successively documented groups of migrants and indigenous people from the Misiones province (1986-1987), patients in neuropsychiatric hospitals (1989-1990), children with AIDS (1989-2000), and the subjects of Waves of Disappearances during the Last Military Dictatorship in Argentina 1976-1983 (2000-2006), a project which was declared to be of national interest in 2005. Zout was a reporter for the newspaper La Razón from 1983 to 1986 and the photographer of the Senate of the Province of Buenos Aires from 1990 to 2007. She is currently a photographer and curator at the Museo de Arte y Memoria in La Plata.
Her work can be found in the collections of the Museo de Arte de Moderno in Buenos Aires, of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Argentina, and of the municipality of Turin, as well as in private collections. She has held individual exhibitions in 2008 at the Colegio de Psicólogos de la Provincia de Buenos Aires and at the Centro Cultural Borges in Buenos Aires, and in 2007 at the Casa Mariani Teruggi in La Plata, at the Alliance française in La Paz, and at the Senate building in La Plata. In 2008, she also participated in the collective exhibitions Fricciones y conflictos en Iberoamérica(as part of the project Laberinto de miradas), at the Centro Cultural de España in Lima and at the Olido gallery in São Paulo; Ustedes, at the Centro Cultural Recoleta in Buenos Aires, and Pulsions urbaines 1962-2017: L’Amérique latine en mouvement at Les Rencontres d’Arles in 2017.