Activity: Online conversation with the curator and some of the artists and people photographed
Monday 25 May - 6pm / Capacity: 100 people in order of arrival
Zoom: Encounter. With Three Wounds, I
Meeting ID: 919 2077 6166 / Password: 788762
With three wounds, I:
One of life,
One of death,
One of love.
When Spain declared a state of emergency over the COVID-19 pandemic it left us in what we now call, quite naturally, “lockdown”. Confinement for some of us has been in our usual spaces and homes, always with an outside which is different, and in which we have travelled through our vulnerability; rather, the possibility of being hurt, in the intimacy of ever-closer relationships or in solitude. Most of us have been separated from those closest to us, save for those we live with, but so many others have been locked down in places they inhabit temporarily and with people they barely knew or didn’t know at all, not to mention the many who live alone. Under such circumstances, some people have hardly been able to share the uncertainty of how long the situation would last or how to bear the daily toll of lost lives and the grim financial outlook of so many. The quarantine, moreover, amplifies pre-existing inequalities and exclusions, perpetual states of emergency that have shaped lived experiences and conditions in recent weeks but which, in spite of everything, have led to gestures of collective organisation with the most exposed people in mind.
This exhibition spotlights six photographic stories that engage in conversation to relate different experiences around the pandemic from the interior of living spaces, spaces which can be a refuge at certain times and a place of hostility at others. In these accounts the camera has served as therapy, condemnation, diary and a footprint of occurrences, whereby that which is photographed shows itself, once more, as an encounter between the bodies of those taking pictures, those letting themselves be photographed and those we see. For Edu León, who has been under lockdown with his mother, photography has been a kind of therapy and a medium to converse with her and her memories. Olmo Calvo, Judith Prat and Isabel Permuy have published a photographic diary, inside the framework of the project CovidPhotoDiaries, to document the most intimate aspects of the crisis. Calvo has depicted the final stages of the pregnancy of his partner, Fabiola Barranco — with his photos and texts she wrote, they have recounted the emotions and uncertainty so many women have experienced in their confined pregnancies. Permuy has documented Lavapiés residents, in addition to photographing the networks of aid and resistance organised by the migrant population. From Aragón, Prat has documented assistance in the homes of the elderly, in that intimacy awarded by care, and in the shelters and halls for homeless people. Rubén H. Bermúdez, meanwhile, from another use and treatment of the image in proximity to what has been dubbed post-photography, has created a type of diary of “poor images”, in which the quotidian and the infra-ordinary Georges Perec referred to are placed at the centre of this confinement experience.
Mounting an exhibition under these circumstances, from shared isolation, often taken up with care and with limited time, can also become a way of sharing the vulnerability of the people involved. Thus, Roberta Marrero was invited, expressly for this exhibition, to narrate her confinement in solitude in order to establish new ties of intimacy through photography, whilst also publicly demonstrating distancing markings and not forgetting the links and networks which, ultimately, keep us going.
Olmo Calvo is a photojournalist who works independently for Spanish and international media outlets. Since 2005 he has reported on different countries in Latin America, Europe, the Near East and Africa in relation to human rights. In recent years, he has documented the economic and social crisis in Spain and the tragedy of refugees en route to Europe. Some of his photographs have gained international recognition, winning the Luis Valtueña International Humanitarian Photography Award, the International ABC Journalism Award, Pictures of the Year (POY), Pictures of the Year Latam and the National Press Photographers Association Annual Awards. Moreover, he is a participant in the collective project Covid Photo Diaries, supported by Médicos del Mundo and started in March 2020.
Rubén H. Bermúdez is a photographer and teacher from Madrid. He completed his specialist studies at the International Photography and Film Centre (EFTI) and in 2014 was awarded the “La Caixa” FotoPres grant. He is author of the books Berlin: Looking for Freedom (Caravanbook, 2014) and Y tú, ¿por qué eres negro? (And You, Why Are You Black? Phree, 2018), and is co-founder of the collective Afroconciencia (Afroawareness), the fanzine10×15 and a regular contributor to Clavoardiendo Magazine. He gives workshops and lectures on creation and his research centres on the representation of blackness. On occasions, he also works as a curator. In 2018, he was awarded the Madrid Matadero’s artistic production grant, and his work has featured in newspapers such as El País and Eldiario.es.
Edu León is a Spanish photographer who has lived in Quito for the past eight years. His work focuses on social conflicts and migrant issues, and he has worked with international organisations that include the Red Cross, Amnesty International and Intermón Oxfam. He is also a contributor with publications such as El País, Univisión Noticias, and Getty Images in Latin America, and his images have been published in news media like The Guardian, Time, Newsweek, Vice News and The New York Times.
Roberta Marrero is an artist whose work draws from numerous sources, from religious imagery to comics, via popular culture, Hollywood stars, American independent cinema, politics, identity and her own biography. She has exhibited work in collective and solo shows in Spain and France and has lectured in different European countries. She is the author of the books Dictadores (Dictators, Ediciones Hidroavión, 2015), El bebé verde. Infancia, transexualidad y héroes del pop (The Green Baby. Childhood, Transexuality and Pop Heroes, Lunwerg, 2016) and We can be heroes. Una celebración de la cultura LGTBQ+ (Lunwerg, 2018).
Isabel Permuy is an independent photojournalist based in Madrid. She studied photography at the Oviedo School of Arts and Crafts and, in 2002, started working for the newspaper La Voz de Asturias, covering a broad range of news items.
In 2009 and 2010, she was chairwoman of the Professional Association of Asturian Photojournalists, and in 2011 she moved to Madrid to continue her work as a photojournalist at the daily newspaper ABC. Her photos have been published in numerous newspapers and magazines in Spain, and she is a participant in the collective project Covid Photo Diaries.
Judith Prat trained and works professionally in documentary photography, specialising in human rights. In recent years she has worked in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, and in 2017 she received the Heraldo Arts and Letters Photography Prize and in 2018 was awarded the Leonardo Grant for Research in Communication and Information Science from the BBVA Foundation. Her work, moreover, has received awards in major festivals and international competitions and has been published in news media such as The Guardian, The New York Times, Al Jazeera, Woz, 5W, El Mundo and Eldiario.es., and in the framework of the collective project Covid Photo Diaries. Her photographs have been exhibited in Spain and in cities such as Quebec City, Montreal, Moscow, Querétaro and Avignon.
Inés Plasencia works as a teacher and independent cultural manager. Her main lines of research are in photography history and theory, the visual culture of colonialism and its continuities, studies around the notion of citizenship applied to art and contemporary imagery. She holds a PhD in Art History and Theory from the Autonomous University of Madrid, and is currently a professor at the same university and at Duke University, also in Madrid. Furthermore, she was part of the research team in the project Rethinking Guernica for the Museo Reina Sofía.
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