PHotoESPAÑA, the International Festival of Photography and Visual Arts, will celebrate 25 years during the next edition. The Festival will take place from June 1 to August 28, 2022.
A program that will reflect on documentary-style photography as a document and aesthetic.
The concept “documentary style”, coined by Walker evans, had a great influence from the beginning of the XNUMXth century. At first it was understood as a type of photography related to reportage and photojournalism – like the one shown in newspapers and magazines such as Double Elephant Press or in the first works of Helen levitt o Robert Frank. Later it evolved due to the need to experiment with photographic language, as did Lee Friedlander o Garry Winogrand, thus integrating itself into artistic photography.
In 1971, Evans explained that “an example of a verbatim document would be a mug shot of a crime. A document has a use, while art is really useless. Thus, art is never a document, but it can take its form. Ultimately, it is a "style" that is born from the straight photography in United States. This style is distinguished by the intention of representing reality in a pure and transparent way, reflecting on issues such as experimentation with photographic language, seriality, staging and its veracity, the idea of the archive or subjectivity.
The photographer who adopts the "documentary style" aspires to reflect reality in the same way as a sculptor: eliminating from his final work all material that is not part of the piece. Thus, the title of the program “Sculpting Reality” alludes to “Sculpting in Time: Reflections on the Cinema” (1985), a publication by Andrei Tarkovsky that presents the filmmaker as someone who “sculpts in time”.
With this programme, Sandra Guimarães and Vicente Todolí offer a journey through the history of photography and the documentary style, from its beginnings in the thirties of the XNUMXth century to the present day, based on research into the Per Amor a l'Art collection's holdings.
Vicente Todolí emphasizes the importance of Evans, who “believed that photography was only useful if it transcended the subject and the object; photography should be art, not art”. For her part, Sandra Guimarães points out that “the concept of seriality in art is one of the specificities of the photographic medium and accompanies the various artists in this program in their need to question and reflect on the world that surrounds us, on the reality existing, complex, cruel and beautiful” generating a multiplicity of connected experiences and narratives.