BlEDa y roSa: origen Madrid Galería Fúcares
Complex Landscapes ALICIA MURRÍA The photographs by the Bleda and Rosa team have an appearance of extraordinary simplicity; this has characterised the work form the start, along with most of the other elements of an oeuvre which has gained strength with each new step; each now series of photographs, placing the artists in the front rank of Spanish photographers of their generation –and beyond it. Their images call for a certain complicity on the part of the viewer, since their “themes” are very far-reaching, and lend themselves to different readings and reflections. If those first desolate Campos de futbol [football grounds] contained a hint of personal memory and of nostalgia for lost childhood or adolescence, their Campos de batalla [battle grounds] –which immediately drew the attention of many specialists and critics– displayed a manner of approaching history and micro-history as rigorous as it was original. Subsequent series have confirmed that this was no accident. Their knowledge of the history of art in general and of photography in particular shows through cleanly and without artifice –we can see how they have assimilated the Romantic landscape and the German schools of photography of the past thirty years as foundations for their
Mandíbula de Banyoles, Banyoles, 2005. Courtesy: Galería Fúcares
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“productions” of geometrical clarity. If their photographs are impeccable, this seems to be a quality that is carefully calibrated by the artists so that nothing distracts us from what is really being proffered –that far-reachingness I mentioned above. It is a path each viewer will travel in accordance with her own personal and/or “cultural” baggage. Bleda and Rosa approach their work like a crew preparing to shoot a film –a long period of study and research, many excursions in search of the right locations, the choice of the appropriate season of the year and of the light, etc. And yet the result is a silent image, not at all explicit, and in which the text –the title– as brief as it may be, is a substantial part of the work, an element that completes it, not by delimiting its meaning, but by opening it up and converting that surface into a kind of narrative. The series of photographs they are now showing in Madrid is the first chapter of a work in progress. On entering the gallery the visitor hardly notices the discrete panel with dates and places, but proceeds to the images of landscapes, sometimes soft and opening to the sea, and sometimes wild, with caves and forested zones that are exquisitely rendered, and yet, characteristically, not at all explicit. Origen [Origin] is the title of the series, and we soon seek other clues (Zhoukoudian, Atapuerca) and retrace our steps to find the panel with the chronology of the finds that have allowed a temporal map of hominisation to be made, one that is necessarily uncertain, provisional, and subject to the modifications that each new discovery brings to its interpretation. Only rarely do the photographs show evidence of the excavations themselves –some scaffolding, plastics protecting the settlement– and, for the first time in Bleda and Rosa’s work, references to the past and the present are laced together in the “interior” of the image. This series –which will go on to encompass other sites in Europe, and then in Asia and Africa– composes a frieze in which time, history, the advance of knowledge, nature, culture, ideas about the links that join us to other species, and that formed the first part of the road to what we are, resound silently in each photograph, like an echo that the eye catches to mobilise in our imagination what we know –and also what we ignore– about that strange fracture of which Origen speaks.
Dossier: COMIC WORLD / MUNDO CÓMIC 2006