Curatorial project with Masasam
Collective exhibition presented at the Spanish Royal Academy in Rome as part of the X International Photography Festival of Rome, Italy.
The photographers Sergi Cámara, Héctor Mediavilla, Alfonso Moral and Fernando Moleres, of the Pandora Photographic Collective, approach the notion of “Motherland” from a documentary perspective, but one understood not as a mirror reflecting memory, not as a copy of the world but as a medium capable of constructing its own referents. In this way it gives us the possibility to develop a discourse on the world, recreating it and endowing it with other meanings.
We have observed three central themes that recur throughout their photographic work. The first questions the notion of borders; the second encompasses the different movements, displacements, immigrations-emigrations that affect a great part of the world’s population and the different consequences that arise; and lastly, the third theme goes deep into the core of modern day megalopolises.
Their Motherland is thus found within a necessary reflection on our place on earth from a position of social denunciation and alert. Within this statement we see how the I inevitably becomes us, due to our interconnection and responsibility towards the rest of humanity.
The photographers of Pandora approach and invite us to come closer to the other, because they understand that “one can only construct oneself through the other, through difference. Difference isn’t something opposed to identity, on the contrary it is completely necessary for it”. That is why their images are not condescending or from an etnocentric point of view, but from a clear position of denouncement. They are consistently denouncing injustices, violence and suffering. Their work culminates as we are led into the inner workings of modern contemporary megalopolises. Pandora makes us understand their rejection to this model of city, where precisely the other and even the I disappear; they are lost in the compact mass, where they wonder in those non-places. A space that, as Auge explains, “does not create identity nor relation, but only solitude and similarity”.
Thus the place that these photographers feel linked to and that they would like everyone to belong to, both those they photograph as well as us as spectators, is a land based on engagement with the other, in a continuous construction with the other.
Pandora is a photography collective composed by Sergi Cámara, Héctor Mediavilla, Alfonso Moral and Fernando Moleres. Since it was founded in 2007, they develop individual and collective projects within the domain of documentary photography, understanding this practice not as mere mirror with memory, but as a medium that enables an active discourse on the world.
One of these projects is Megalopolis, which is composed of different series by the photographers, and which penetrates into the inner-workings of four contemporary megalopolises. The different series interweave approaching the concept of the contemporary city globally, beyond each particular individual case. The photographers of Pandora make us penetrate these large cities that are very different from one another, in very different latitudes, some Latin others Oriental, but all of them darkened by the height and density of their buildings, and where men and women fight daily for a place. One ultimately cannot accurately point out what part of the world it is. All we can make out is that we are in a model of city where the other and the I disappear; they are lost in the compact mass, where they wonder in those non-places as the underground o those large stations. A space that, as Auge explains “does not create identity nor relation, but only solitude and similarity”. A model of city that Pandora undoubtedly wants us to question and which they clearly disagree with.
Thus, if we look closely at their works, we quickly understand that the model which Pandora seeks is rather one in which encounters take place, one in which people interconnect; this is seen both in their images as in the ideal of city they hint at. They are mediators and their images constantly pursue us to engage with one another, to find each other through presence rather than from absence.
Photographs: Sergi Cámara, Héctor Mediavilla, Fernando Moleres & Alfonso Moral
Directed by: Masasam
Edited by: David de la Rosa. Dedo Gordo
Music: Contain. Plastikman and Um Dia No Amazonas. Nana Vasconcelos
Projection developed for the exhibition “Motherland” curated by Masasam.
Organised by the Spanish Royal Academy in Rome as part of the X International Photography Festival of Rome, Italy.