The world doesn’t exist.
(Sant Cugat, 1952-2013)
Pere Formiguera formed part of a generation of avant-garde artists who adopted photography as their means of expression in the nineteen-seventies. The work of this photographer, writer, historian, collector and exhibition curator always challenged the limits of the photographic language and proclaimed the artistic and experimental function of auteurphotography. Influenced by artistic movements such as Dada, Concept Art and Fluxus, Formiguera’s work explores photomontage, sequencing and hybridisation, among other techniques. The curator Juan Naranjo describes this creative process of hybridising photography and painting as follows: “He intervened in his photographs with poor materials such as marker pens. His distancing from technical virtuosity is linked to his artistic stance, and he uses this aesthetic as an element to distinguish his work from professional applied photography”.
Pere Formiguera's first exhibition took place at the former Library of Rubí in 1973. On this occasion, he returns to that city with a series of Polaroid shots taken with an SX-70 camera. The technique of manipulating and damaging the image at the moment it is developed creates magical, painterly results.
©Pere Formiguera, VEGAP, Barcelona, 2019
(Oldenzaal, Holanda, 1961)
Margaret Lansik’s delicate black-and-white shines like the moon in the middle of a haiku. Her photographs are wounded by light in the same way that time wounds the skin of the world. Landscapes and fragments of a woman's naked body are fused in the long, vertical space of the kakemono.
A golden seam crosses her images in the manner of Japanese art of kintsukuroi, a traditional technique of mending broken pottery using gold that highlights the cracks and repairs. The beauty of what has been broken yet persists despite its fragility.
Borders of Nothingness received the prestigious Hariban Award in 2019.
( Yantai, China, 1981)
The photographs in Zhang Xiao’s work They seek the extraordinary in mundane everyday activities. Eyes wide open, Zhang Xiao scrutinises his closest surroundings and talks to us about others as if he were a stranger in a strange land.
The reality of Chongqing, where he lives and works, amazes him as if he were a new Marco Polo discovering China.This series of images was taken using a very peculiar toy camera, the legendary Holga.The Holga’s square format and plastic lens produce deeply saturated colours and light distortion that makes the edges of the image fuzzy. Despite the documentary nature of They, the series presents us with a dreamlike, misty, surreal and sometimes kitsch world full of humour and absurdity.
(Nantes, Francia, 1974)
Stéphane Charpentier is a multidisciplinary artist who uses photography, video and sound art in his practice. His high-contrast photographs are full of shadowy darkness and blinding light. This is work that challenges the duality and false antinomies of Western thought. There is no shadow without light.
The Coreof the title refers to the core of reality: the heart of man and the primordial world of the atom. An attempt to explore a certain understanding of existence.
AURORE DAL MAS
Dead End Dust is a reworking of two different works by this artist, Sans issueand Polvere.In it, the photographer’s Polaroids with their faded colours shows us natural and urban landscapes full of solitude. These are beautiful yet desolate landscapes that mourn human absence. Images filled with tenderness and sorrow where no one can live. A strange and disturbing world in which human beings seem to have disappeared. Side-by-side this we also find images as black as coal in which men and women with veiled faces are trapped in darkness.
Time standing still, and the eternal night.
(Kranj, Eslovenia, 1985)
Tereza Kozinc's photographs trace the steps of her life and travels. They are her compass and her roadmap. Geographically distant spaces bound by an invisible thread to the heart of the earth. The narrator of this intimate diary is always at the centre of her world. She photographs less to remember what she has seen than to remember what she felt while photographing.
A frontal gaze that records simple images like a seed that germinates and grows into a leafy tree. A reality seen against the void, and a red staircase that leads us to other worlds. As the photographer herself says:
“A land that is so different from where I was born and yet the snow tastes the same.
The birds fly and trees have roots.
I felt cold winds and happiness when I laid tired at night. I felt in peace. The need was born”.
(Bayona, Francia, 1978)
Terres basses presenta un universo íntimo, poético y esencialmente femenino. Paisajes nocturnos de contornos temblorosos, espacios aislados de una ciudad incierta y retratos de mujeres y niños. El País Vasco y Portugal son el ámbito geográfico de sus fotografías, un territorio interior de duelo y tristeza. Un retorno a los orígenes después de la muerte de su madre. Una provincia del pasado congelada en la memoria. Un blanco y negro melancólico que le sirve para distanciarse de la realidad y hablar de su realidad.
(San Petersburgo, Rusia, 1976)
The curator Laura Serani describes Alisa Resnik’s work as follows:
“Out of a troubling and anguished universe she constructs an image where above all one feels her profound empathy for the people and places she photographs (…)
Empty bars and hotel corridors, disused factories, houses that seem empty yet whose windows are lit up, trees covered with snow or decorations, all these break up or punctuate her procession of portraits (..) A succession of solitary people, with disfigured faces, washed-out bodies, alone or wrapped in an embrace, balancing over an abyss or frozen in a nightmare where the ninth door could open any moment”.
Her tremulous colours, blue, red and green, are reminiscent of Caravaggio’s dark shadows, accentuating the despair of her characters, trapped in a perpetual night.
According to the artist herself: “Invisible Infinito brings us face-to-face with the limits of representation, with an ambiguous , opaque and elusive photographic language whose relationship with the real is fragile, precarious; and with a world – that of the image – that lacks all visual certainties”.
Her photographs are a kind of counter-landscape that struggles to capture the material essence of the soul. As in a Chinese Tang dynasty painting, black on black, Patricia Bofill expands her essential forms on the canvas of Nothing. Emptiness and fullness. Sun and shade. Stone and ash. A paradoxical language full of opposing formulations.
LILY ZOUMPOULI(Tesalónica, Grecia, 1991)
The visual diary and self-documentation form the guiding thread that runs through the images of this young photographer. The quest for and experimentation with one's identity, with its moments of joy and its moments of sorrow, love and heartbreak, certainty and uncertainty. Lily Zoumpouli photographs her private world and her circle of her friends with a sincere but also sexual and provocative gaze.
Emotion is a very important element in her work. Apart from any descriptive or narrative element, the poetic air does much to explain the current in this tumultuous river. A visceral and sometimes brutal journey that is not without its share of tenderness.
Another interesting feature of her work is her peculiar use of colour, combining saturation and desaturation with a clear taste for technical imperfection, which imbues her images with life and authenticity.
A song of love for life amidst the chaos of the experience of being young. A photographic reality infused with fire.
Horondo Soko Ni (“Nearly There”)isTatiana Gutiérrez’s first photographic project. Nevertheless, her work is instilled with an unusual maturity. Full of talent and great visual intuition, this photographer has quickly found her own voice. Taken during a trip to Japan in April 2018, her images comprise an introspective narrative of her journey. In it, inner world and outer world intertwine to portray her loneliness and so create a poetic, dreamlike imaginary.
Tatiana Gutierrez closes her eyes to decipher her surroundings and looks closely at reality in order to know herself better.
(Ploiesti, Rumania, 1985)
In his essay Cosmos, the controversial philosopher Michel Onfray speaks of what he calls “bookish illiteracy”: “There are too many books that dispense with the world while at the same time claiming to describe it to us (...) A huge library has been installed between men and the cosmos, nature, the real”. Onfray’s philosophical stance urges direct contact with the cosmos and nature, a return to the origins of humanity before the invention of time measuring instruments. To him, the Roma people represent wisdom, the power of intuition and vitality as opposed to Western decadence. The nomadic life of circular time amid the cycles of Nature as opposed to the mutilated, sedentary life of linear time. An existence that poetically reads the cosmos within a pagan logic full of foundational myths and tales. Each different worldview implies a different way of life.
Be Good features portraits of young Roma couples who have just married, their traditions and wedding rituals in which the virginity of the bride is sacred. Children who suddenly become parents in a society that does not know the concept of youth. This work received the Dummy Award at the DOCfield Festival of Barcelona in 2015.
MARCEL PEY(Cardona, 1948)
According to the photographer Walker Evans, all good photography is literature. In the case of Marcel Pey, literature and visual art form an inextricable whole in which word and image celebrate their alchemical marriage. A poet, filmmaker and fine artist influenced by Pop Art and the American Underground movement, his themes revolve around violence, eroticism, panoptic control of consumer society and media manipulation.
Pey’s work is based on the appropriation of images through rephotography and photographic collage, cut through by the sharp knife of his poetry.
According to the poet David Castillo, “the word ‘poetry’ is the only one that can encompass his oeuvreas a whole”.