Monday, September 16, 2013

Alberto García-Alix (b. 1956) is a spanish photographer

« For Alberto García-Alix, one of Europe’s most acclaimed photographers, the camera is a constant companion, a partner in documenting the traces of his passage, the faces and places he has known. The eighty photographs being shown in his first solo exhibition at UCCA are selections from De donde no se vuelve (From where there is no return ), an ambitious photographic narrative spanning over three decades, from the post-Franco period of free expression known as “La Movida” to the present day.
Here, we see humanity unvarnished, uncensored, unapologetic and nakedly real. The settings are the streets, sidewalks and tenements of Madrid, Paris or Beijing; the subjects are bikers, brawlers, rockers, dealers, users, lovers, friends, enemies and strangers. Some of them are still alive. Others are long dead. But every face that gazes back at us has been preserved with quiet dignity, developed lovingly by hand in the artist’s own darkroom, and given a position of importance in that realm between presence and absence, that place of no return. » - Jérôme Sans, UCCA Director

Each boxing match is a story: a drama without words. Alberto García-Alix´s photographs are also condensed stories, silent but eloquent stories. These are images imbued with a lyricism and stripped of artifice, poetry that always finds a place to settle within the framework: the tension in the foreshortening of a face, the tip of a shoe, a skewered vagina, the body of a bird, fuzzy profiles of a building … Direct poetry that explodes before our eyes with the radiance of a whiplash.
A vocational fighter, when García Alix concludes one of his joyful battles with images, there is only one winner standing on the canvas: his glance. A frontal view. A look of fighter. Pure epic.
García-Alix´s technique has evolved toward a meticulous use of black and white. His visual speech is composed in accordance with the maps that his life’s itinerary has sketched out, maps onto which the photographer sketches his mysterious, emotional and compelling artistic cartography.  A broad map on which objects and landscapes appear, photographs in which Alberto García-Alix captures the scenes of his own biography: houses, streets, roads and trails open up to infinity. Walls, facades and windows bounded by the camera lens. Open spaces on which his gaze jumps around and becomes introspective until enclosing itself in the four walls of a bare room.
If someone put us in the difficult situation of having to choose only one of the topics dealt with by García-Alix in his work, that which summarizes its totality, that would be the human body. Its flesh, bones, and also the light that hides in its gut. And in the end, inescapably, the fight is bound be a body-to-body between Alberto and the light.

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