ARTURO SOTO // In The Heat

In The Heat

Panama’s presence in the collective unconscious is frequently limited to its canal, exotic sceneries and recent political history. “In the Heat” is a subjective depiction of its urban landscape. The title references the capital’s humid climate, but also alludes to my bittersweet stay there. My intention is to interrogate how personal experience influences the ways one negotiates, and ultimately represents the landscape. As a consequence, the vibrant country found in travel brochures is purposefully absent. I stayed away from the typical imagery emphasized by the travel industry, in which color is used to promote prepackaged experiences, leaving out whatever contradicts that illusory lifestyle. I depict banal spaces that people rarely consider, partially because of their familiarity, but also because they contradict conservative notions of progress and economic growth. What interests me is the relationship between landscape and state of mind through an open-ended narrative that reflects thoughts and desires alike. Even though the project is not meant as a critique, it does attempt to capture the social values located in the urban environment.