Alfonso Fonseca

It Could Have Happened Here


“It Could Have Happened Here” is a project where I find crimes that have occurred in the Phoenix, Arizona area; Research them, Photograph the places they have occurred at, and then create a narrative with those photos along with archival photos and others I find. This lets me explore time, place, narrative, and the relationship between all three. The crimes I research usually take place before the 1980s, some of the events are well known, while others are crimes that not many know about. The photos depict crime scenes as they are today often with no trace of the crime that was committed and any deviation from the original site will be indicated through handwritten text on the photographs. The photographs will function as signposts for invisible histories. Then the series of photos will be sequenced for a book, each crime being it’s own volume.



The photos are shot in similar ways that forensic and newspaper photos were shot. High contrast black and white photos shot usually with some kind of flash. This creates images similar to Weegee and other newspaper photographers. I then write on the prints in a similar fashion influenced by Jim Goldberg and Bill Burke’s work. I also do this to the archival photos I find online, using the handwritten text as a way to share more information. I then try to create a narrative with all this. I try to create a sequence that makes the viewer feel like they are discovering this information, as if they stumbled upon it. I use the information from my research to create a compelling story about what happened.




Short Bio

Alfonso Fonseca was born in Palm Springs California and lived in the Coachella Valley for most of his life. As a child of Mexican immigrants he had an understanding of culture and place, as frequent trips to Mexico to see his family helped him to start seeing how one place and its history can be drastically different from another. As an artist he began to be interested in how someone can document with photography, whether it has to do with everyday occurrences or finding interesting sub-culture to investigate. Influenced by photographers like Bruce Davidson, Alec Soth, Jim Goldberg, Alex Webb, and many more he began shooting in a formal documentary style to then investigate the connection and conflicts between past and present. Sometimes a historical or even personal past, either way he documents these through landscapes, portrait, and sometimes even uses archival materials. Alfonso currently studying for his B.F.A in photography with a minor in film at Arizona State University.


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The Fujifilm/Young Talent Award is supported by Fujifilm