1979 was a time of seismic changes in Peru’s capital, a transitional period between the military dictatorship of the 70s, and the onset of the Shining Path’s guerilla war in 1980. The city’s population swelled and was transformed by a massive influx of rural migrants from the highlands and eastern jungles; and artist Tarrah Krajnak’s birth mother was among them–one of many young women uprooted during that tectonic demographic shift. That’s almost all Krajnak knew about her mother. Like her peers, she was vulnerable in a city that was a violent, dangerous place. 1979 was a year that created orphans.
In SISMOS, Krajnak sets out not to recover some stable, “authentic” identity hidden by the circumstances of her birth and adoption, but rather to pull together archival materials, found photographs, untold narratives, and images in an effort to patch together, reclaim, and invent something like a psychic history of that year, and locate herself within it.
In 2002, Tabitha Soren first began photographing a group of minor league draft picks for the Oakland A’s―young men coming into the major league farm system straight from high school or college. Since then, she has followed the players through their baseball lives, an alternate reality of long bus rides, on-field injuries, friendships and marriages entered and exited, constant motion, and very hard work, often for very little return. Some of the subjects, like Nick Swisher and Joe Blanton, have gone on to become well-known, respected players at the highest level of the game. Some left baseball to pursue other lines of work, such as selling insurance and coal mining. Others have struggled with poverty and even homelessness.
Fifteen years after that first shoot, Fantasy Life portrays a selection of these stories, gathering together a richly textured series of photographs taken on the field and behind the scenes at games. These images evoke the enduring spirit of this quintessential American fantasy of making it in the major leagues.