PHOTOESPAÑA15

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PHotoEspaña ‘The International Festival Photography and Visual Arts of Madrid’ is a photography festival that began in 1998. It holds many exhibitions ran by Spanish image-makers and also for internationals to et involved in. There are also competitions, workshops and awards programmes.

During PHE15, I have took time out to get involved. I have visited 8 exhibitions and also taken part in the ‘A Day in the Life of Madrid’ competition – to which i submitted 4 images. 
This competition collects 24 images from hundreds of entries, all photographs taken in Madrid at every hour. To combine to create ‘A Day in the Life of Madrid’
There are also events that are held in other cities in Spain in connection with PHE15.


Exhibitions Visited

Not Yet. On the Reinvention of Documentary and the Critique of Modernity

Like the title suggests – within this exhibition it was almost like a timeline, a timeline on the Reinvention of documentary and the critique of Modernity. With imagery from 1970s – 1980s, this exhibition provided a view of the debates that took place at the time on the photographic document as a critique of modern art. I viewed this exhibition due to my love for documentary and I was really impressed with how much variety of different works were displayed as well as the sheer amount of space this exhibition took over. With over 800 works on show, (some never seen before) the artefacts included photos, magazines, books, photo-montages, posters, films and various installations. 

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Ana Casas Broda. Kinderwunsch

One of my favourite exhibitions I have seen during this photography festival. Also held in my favourite venue ‘Circulo de Bellas Artes’ where there is always something to see! 
‘Kinderwunsch’ – the german word for desire of having children, to become pregant or to find out that one is not fertile.
Ana Casas Brodas documents her travels through family and memory in this body of work. Very tastefully done and something I am sure a lot of Mother’s can relate to. Through deep exploration of identity, childhoos, the body, the nude, the sensuality and the role of a woman, Brodas allows us to view an insight into her life. 
This body of work really reminded me that of Elinor Carucci

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Lola Álvarez Bravo

Inspired by the works of two well known photographers, Edward Weston and Cartier-Bresson, this exhibition was another one I did not want to miss! Amongst this extensive photographic body of work is a documentation of Mexican daily life! With each portrait comes a different identity, a different story.

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Artist print and copy print, Some Climb and others descend

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Photomontage

In the Eye of the Other Historical Photography of Ecuador: breaking into the Amazon

This exhibition shows this process of Western penetration into the Amazon territories which took place at the end of the 19th century. This exhibition intends to provide a portrait of Western penetration into the Amazon, mainly Ecuadorian parts. Including photos of the ethnic group ‘Shuar-Achuar’ people, the economic exploitation and the rubber industry, portraiture of the settlers and also of the native groups.

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Portrait of missionary with Shuar natives

Chema Madoz 2008-2014. The rules of the game

After recently studying Chema Madoz and with fascination of his recent works, I was really looking forward to seeing these how they should be seen! Madoz explores the animal figure, nature, drawing as a form of representation and using text as a vehicle for imagination!

I recently had the task of creating an image in the style of these works by Madoz and I really struggled to think of an idea. Looking at this exhibition made me think ‘wow, he really has considered everything’. 

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Revealing and Detonating. Photography in Mexico, ca. 2015)

As a country which has undergone such social change, I knew this exhibition would have a lot to offer! It sets out a review of Mexican photography today. With a selection of photographers from different generations, the have come together to create a contradictory representation of modern Mexico. They reveal new forms by looking at and producing images, and detonate by reflecting on the contemporary image.
The exhibition sets out points of contact among the works of very different authors, and identifies situations that show artistic concerns and strategies of creation, it draws up an axis in Mexico’s current photography and questions the identity, the body and the nature of the photographic medium.

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Latin Fire. Other Photographs of a Continent 1958-2010. Anna Gamazo de Abelló Collection

The Anna Gamazo de Abelló Collection is one of the most important archives of Latin American photography in Europe so I am really pleased I have seen this. With over 60 artists combined, Latin fire allows the viewers an insight into little known facets within Latin American Photography. The images in this exhibition are all very different – with traditional photography also comes some offset photography, some photocopies and also heliography. Works within this exhibition range from 1980 – 2010 and show political events, revolution movements for sex/race/cultural struggles and also firearm events. Some image may be seen as offensive. One image that really stood out for me was that of freedom fighter Che Guevara after his execution. 

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Enrique Meneses. A Reporter’s life

I had not heard of Enrique Meneses – however ‘A Reporter’s Life’ is something that is right up my street! A well known Spanish documentary photographer, this exhibition was set our a like a timeline with his most notable works whilst also including personal material. It is good that exhibitions some with a lot of information so that the viewer can understand exactly what it is they are looking at – however, with this exhibition, I was really put off by the amount of writing everywhere and the lack of imagery. The images I did see included events with Kennedy, Martin Luther King and many other major historical events. Other subjects included, Salvador Dali, Paul Newman, Cassius Clay, Che Guevara, Marlon Brando and also royal weddings in Spain.

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