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Mitigation by Kato Ramone

“Mitigation” presents a brief summary of the life of an exiled Chilean photographer, Elisa Abenza, and the circumstances that led to the creation of her most famous photograph. In a type of parody on biographies, the narrator deals with the particulars that led to the creation of the photograph, and through this, with the myth that surrounds canonical works of art and the fake discourse built around them. However, much like Borges’s Pierre Menard or Bolaño’s Archimboldi, Abenza is also a fictional artist, and the reader has in fact no access to her works, only to the discourse surrounding it. Suddenly the story about the artist turns into a story about art, and what can or cannot be said about it. Kato Ramone’s beautiful and gentle story seems like a craft of peeling, through which the writer wishes to send the reader not to the speech but to the experience and the existence that creates it: just as “when it comes to poverty there are no innocent photographs,” so the work of art does not appear from mysticism, it does not “announce itself,” but rather, it is born from roaming the city, between “abandoned warehouses and Victorian-style houses in ruins,” when, “in one corner of the scene, something blurry passed by a window.” Who said this moment necessarily has to do with the drama or gravity of the artist? as Kato Ramone writes in the story’s final words —“I’ve always thought that she was laughing.”