In 2001 Argentina suffered one of its hugest economic crisis in history. These portraits were taken in 2003 in occasion of the making of 'new documents', new identities given by Buenos Aires City Hall to certain group of people, as then officially called 'cardboard-collectors', in order to be recognized and allowed by the city police to collect garbage from the streets and public spaces and so to avoid money extortion imposed until then by that same institution. Since 1971, to collect garbage from the street and public space was forbidden by law. This group of people belongs to Villa 31 bis, one of the biggest slums located in the neighborhood of Retiro, downtown Buenos Aires.

"The history of photography recognizes a meaningful documentary origin in the portrait, linked to the anthropological and also to the socialization. The id photo, the close up or waist shot with neutral background, blank of references, is a practice that has been used by great photographers as Richard Avedon or Andrés Serrano. In both cases, many times, they showed us through a process that implies a triple sight, what we don’t know or what we don’t want to see. Juan Hein lies his sight over the sight of the portrayed ones, who direct their sight to our sight, building that triple process. There is a whole ethical conception on putting the sight over the sight from those ones that the society doesn’t want to look at. In that ethic is inscribed the series “Dreams of cardboard” by Hein, that rescues, dignifies and legitimize a group of cardboard searchers."

(Extract from the exhibition text by Patricio Loizaga, Director of Palais de Glace, Buenos Aires)
Vicente Meja, at 50
Teodora Caceres, at 56
Rosa Ortiz, at 61
Raul Arce, at 47
Raquel Nieva, at 37
Pablo Chaco Gonzales, at 41
Norma Beatriz Quiroga, at 39
Nilda Crisosta Carrera, at 58
Mercedes del Carmen Banegas, at 15
Maria Antonia Leiva, at 20
Juan Gregorio Moreno, at 64
Josefina Elba Cristina Casas, at 23
Guillermo Alejandro Proemmel, at 39
Delia Condorpocco, at 31
Claudio Enrique Gonzalez, at 15
Casilda Rodriguez, at 54
Blanca Mayol, at 51
Beatriz Balderrama, at 51
Aurelio Ibarra, at 20
Walter Wilfredo Morinigo, at 42