Q&A: Cristian Ordóñez — On Trial


  1. Q. Have you recently been living by any life philosophy?
    A. Not really, I am not very successful at following philosophies to be honest, even though I always want to, I am not that consistent in that process. I constantly try to slow down a bit.
  2. Q. What will baffle future generations about our day and age?
    A. Not able to slow down and enjoy the simple things of life. And wasting too much time looking at screens.
  3. Q. Are you aware of any conspiracies?
    A. Not really
  4. Q. What is it that interests you about photography?
    A. It’s poetry and subjectivity.
  5. Q. What is the worst thing about city life?
    A. The amount of people and what that implicates (too many buildings, pollution, noise, garbage, crime, etc).
  6. Q. What part of the planet would you like to explore?
    A. I would love to go back and travel through Chile, where I am from, and do the same in New Zealand, where I lived when I was a kid. I don’t know either of these places as well as I would like to. These two on top of many other places I have in mind.
  7. Q. What do you think is the most plausible of the supernatural?
    A. All interpretations are subjective, some things of the supernatural might be more plausible than others. There is the beauty.
  8. Q. If you had to align yourself with a leader in history, who would it be?
    A. I don’t really follow leaders, but rather tend to follow weirdos.
  9. Q. Pick a field of science to be an expert within.
    A. Probably Geology.
  10. Q. What moment have you most wished you’d had a camera when you hadn’t?
    A. More than a specific moment perhaps certain parts of history but with my current mindset. 70’s in Latin America, 80’s in Europe.
  11. Q. Choose a job you would be willing to do for free on the side.
    A. Probably something outdoors, like helping to restore a forest in Patagonia or New Zealand. I would work on it for a few months if someone gives me shelter and food. There are several activities that when they become “jobs”, they lose the sense of joy, and I don’t know if I would end up doing things for free.
  12. Q. Describe the most important photo you’ve seen.
    A. Don’t have one.
  13. Q. How often do you take other people’s advice?
    A. All the time.
  14. Q. Describe a personal hell.
    A. To lose the drive for something.
  15. Q. What was the last crime you witnessed?
    A. It’s definitely not the last, but the one that sticks in my memory from the last few years was the way the Chilean police violated human rights (again) since the social unrest of 2019, blinding many with rubber bullets, among other horrible things.
  16. Q. What is the best way to educate yourself?
    A. To try new things even if you suck at them. To travel, read and learn from others.
  17. Q. What is the next book you want to read?
    A. I am a very slow reader and right now I have these ongoing or waiting: Olivier Lugon “El estilo documental”; Albert Camus “The Plague”; Moyra Davey “Index Cards’; Jorge Luis Borges “El Aleph”.
  18. Q. Ultimate camera?
    A. None in mind to be honest, I only have and use 2 and I am happy with them.
  19. Q. Most used camera?
    A. Probably Mamiya 7.
  20. Q. What object do you want?
    A. Probably more photo books and films to shoot with.
  21. Q. What object do you need?
    A. None.
  22. Q. How would you explain the internet to someone from the 1950’s?
    A. A place where you can find a bit of everything, from culture to entertainment, from history to a bunch of nonsense in different mediums.
  23. Q. Are you satisfied with your level of physical strength?
    A. No
  24. Q. Describe a cheap thrill.
    A. Music and Skateboarding.
  25. Q. Are impulses more important than consequences?
    A. Both are important and it depends on what they are and how they affect you. Impulses are very important and drive you to try and do things you might not even think you could. Consequences might be good or bad, but hopefully you can learn from them.
  26. Q. Which talent would you most like to have?
    A. Play music
  27. Q. What is your plan for the next 24 hours?
    A. Typeset work for a book I am doing for a client. Finish cooking some dinner. Use the darkroom in my studio for an upcoming exhibition later this year. Sleep.


Although only residing in the USA for a short period, Toronto-based Chilean Photographer Cristian Ordóñez has spent a large-period of the previous decade revisiting the lower states creating works that explore the notion of memory, personal relationship, and encounters with the territory.

On Trial observes and plays witness to these encounters, a body of work that presents the social, economic, and geographic survey of the landscape traveled by Ordóñez. A survey, engaging with all things natural and foreign on even ground, seeking to question not only the observer but the role of the object within the frame.

Forthcoming previous published works, Notes 01, 02, and 03, the new chapter continues to visualise his approach and interest in the photographic process as a medium to explore the territory, own cultural diversity.

On Trial contains a selection of 20 photographs edited by Rohan Hutchinson, and accompanied with text by Ordóñez. Designed to co-exist with previous and forthcoming published works, the body and cover of the publication exist in the same form, contextualising the in-transit approach of the photographic content, along with the journey of its publishing.

For more information visit — Website / Instagram / acb-press.