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On the Different Aspect of the Door

The previous performs a central function in the entire Spanish photographer’s work, together with this undertaking, which he photographed with a Leica M-11. Navia’s atmospheric photos come up from a journey he adopted in the hunt for traces of his childhood. In doing so, he understands and divulges the idea of “hint” within the sense given to it by Walter Benjamin: “the looks of a nearness, nonetheless far eliminated the factor that left it behind could also be.”

With this sequence, you sought to discover “one of many magical territories of my childhood…”
Reminiscence is a elementary component of all my work. I take photos to try to photographically reconstruct the previous, ranging from the current. It’s about discovering, within the current, a sequence of individuals, landscapes, visible components, and so forth. This may occasionally enable us to create an environment which might show evocative – for myself, as a lot as for these taking a look at my images.

Out of your perspective, what’s it that makes this territory magical?
I feel that all of us have particular reminiscences of the locations the place we had been comfortable, throughout our childhood. And for me, town of Hellín as a lot because the highway that connects it to Madrid make up this magical territory, outlined by holidays spent with my grandmother – from shortly after I used to be born, up till I used to be eight years previous.

What was it that fascinated you probably the most?
Re-encountering locations and sensations that I had all however forgotten; or which, if I did bear in mind, was due extra to seeing them in previous household images, fairly than due to what I skilled immediately, again then. Additionally, confirming that some issues had been preserved, roughly as I remembered them; whereas many others had modified, radically. And a few locations I believed I did bear in mind, even, turned out to be totally different in actuality. It’s only one step from reminiscence to creativeness. Because the Portuguese author António Lobo Antunes affirms: “Creativeness is fermented reminiscence.”

Your sequence is titled On the opposite aspect of the door…
I took the phrase from a novel titled The Woman with the Leica, by the German writer Helena Janeczek. I had simply learn the e-book, when Matías Costa, who’s liable for the Leica Gallery, proposed the task to me.
There’s a second within the novel when one of many characters says: “The previous must be stored rigorously on the opposite aspect of the door; but when it knocks, there is no such thing as a treatment however to let it in.” I additionally thought that the title was very opportune, as a result of it was a undertaking sponsored by Leica; and the novel speaks about Gerda Taro. She was most likely one of many first ladies to make use of a Leica digital camera, in 1936, through the Spanish Civil Struggle, the place she went within the firm of Robert Capa.

What occurred, once you “opened the door”?
Nicely, as occurs so usually throughout my work, as soon as the topic has been freely established and the territory delineated, a thousand prospects open up. Actuality begins to current itself earlier than my eyes, as if it desires to be photographed.


Your atmospheric photos are fairly mystical – what do you hope to evoke within the viewer?
After all, I consider that images, and artwork generally, ought to firstly be evocative, as you say. And it’s much more essential once you work ranging from emotions linked to the previous; as a result of then the work of the photographer not solely implies a journey by way of area, but additionally by way of time. Christian Boltanski, the conceptual artist, used to say that true communication is established when the sender and receiver by some means share a typical previous. And, in a extra generic sense, we will see ourselves as many individuals who share sure elementary components of the previous.

Why did you {photograph} so few people?
As a result of I used to be very within the thought of absence. The work is as a lot, or extra, about that which is not right here, about those that are not right here; however, additionally, about that which nonetheless persists: locations, sure individuals who proceed residing within the homes the place they had been born, and the place they had been already residing after I used to go to Hellín as a baby (and that are crucial for my work), and so forth. Even so, if you happen to take a look at the photographs rigorously, I feel that human presence is a continuing by some means; it’s about working not solely with folks, however with the traces they depart behind. In my work, I’m very within the thought of traces, within the sense given by the thinker Walter Benjamin.

How would you describe your photographic method?
I all the time work in color, and within the documentary subject. Nevertheless, my method of understanding documentary is inseparable from poetry. I really feel very near the definition as soon as given to us by Walker Evans: “Lyric Documentary”; or, as Allen Ginsberg taught Robert Frank in the future: the straightforward description of one thing will be poetry.

What gear did you employ?
Within the analogue images period, I all the time labored with a Leica (M4-P, M6). My favorite sort of movie was Kodachrome; and, after it was not obtainable, Ektachrome or Fujichrome. This undertaking was photographed with a Leica M11, loaned to me by Leica. The expertise of discovering myself with an previous and beloved software was very passable; it meant that I recaptured previous sensations. I primarily used a 35mm lens; often, a 50mm lens. I feel I’ll proceed working with a Leica; particularly, with an M10-P.

Please full the next sentence: To me images is …
a way with which to try to perceive the world visually, and to “converse” to the eyes of others, by way of photos. A marvellous craft that rapidly was a lifestyle.

Born in Madrid in 1957, Navia graduated with a level in Philosophy in 1980. His work as a reporter is the premise for his photographic narrative: all the time in color and within the documentary subject, it coexists in shut relationship with the phrase. Collection of books and exhibitions: Pisadas sonámbulas (2001); Nóstos (2013); Miguel de Cervantes o el deseo de vivir (2015); and Territorios del Quijote (2004). Navia has been a member of Agence Vu, since 1992. Discover out extra about his images on the web site of Agence Vu.

Leica M

The Leica. Yesterday. As we speak. Tomorrow.

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