North of Chile. Near Copiapo. February, 1999.   The «Panamerican» highway  Silver Print, 40 x 120 cm - 1999

North of Chile. Near Copiapo. February, 1999. The «Panamerican» highway Silver Print, 40 x 120 cm - 1999


Born in Choisy-le-Roi, France. 1955.
Lives and works in Paris.

Augusto Pinochet’s coup d’état on 11 septembre 1973 marked my generation. He represented the unacceptable: the victory of horror, barbarism, fascism.I went to Chile for the first time in 1998 and returned there regularly up to 2002. I met many victims or families of disappeared persons and I discovered a country in a state of amnesia that stupefied me. I decided to move away from the world of actions, speech, testimonies, into that of signs and sediments where time had almost stopped. I did a series of panoramic landscapes, although people are what I usually like to photograph.I went to the arid desert in northern Chile, to try to find the marks of time and history, as fragile as an abandoned memory, whose markers appear or disappear with the sand and the wind. 

Patrick Zachmann is a French photographer, photo-journalist and film director. Since 1978, he has been a self-employed photographer and a member of the Magnum Agency since 1990. Patrick Zachmann has been working on a long-term project since 1976 to cast light on the complexity of communities whose identity, memory and culture he questions. From 1982 to 1984, while doing research on highway landscapes with the support of the French Ministry of Culture, he did a work in Marseille, on young people of immigrant origin. On the 20thanniversary of the events in Tiananmen Square events in Beijing (1989-2009), he did a multimedia documentary entitled Générations Tiananmen produced by Narratives and broadcast on the websites, Der Spiegel and Al Jazeera. Between 1996 and 1998, Patrick Zachmann made a short film called La Mémoire de mon père, and his first long film on the disappearance of traces from collective memory, particularly in Chile, Allers-retour. Journal d’un photographe
Patrick Zachmann regularly works at the Ecole nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs in Paris and the Ecole supérieure de photographie et des arts graphiques in Rome.

Photo: Courtesy of the artist