Umbral, by photographer Erika Morillo, is an extremely intimate book in content and in format. The case unfolds as a letter or as a present to the viewer. Behind the book, we can see the image of her son Amaru with arms opened amongst the dandelions, as if emulating the flaps of the envelope in a symmetrical communion of the forms. The book is landscape, with a square spine, hardcover and cloth bound. Only a few lines of text are shown in the cover to guide the reader in their viewing of these photographs. The book has two readings, or what can be seen as one reading in two chapters.
It is no coincidence that three years ago, I spent a long time doing research, designing and digitizing for a book I published from Venezuelan author Ida Gramcko (1924-1994). One of the things I remember most vividly was the name of her first official Poetry book published, Umbral (Threshold), and how mesmerized I became with that title, her life and her work, which definitely became a reference for me. So About a year ago when I met Erika in New York, and she talked to me about her upcoming Umbral photobook in the form of a letter written to her son, I was drawn to it and considered it a sign. Seeing Erika’s previous work “All of Them”, made me figure out how these images, besides having a strong female perspective, sought the representation of an absence. In her first book, her father’s and in this second time, her experience as a single mother. – Faride Mereb
Landscape, 5.4×8.3 in, 14×21 cm
First edition of 100