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On the Different Facet of the Door

The previous performs a central function in the entire Spanish photographer’s work, together with this venture, which he photographed with a Leica M-11. Navia’s atmospheric photographs come up from a journey he adopted seeking 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, nevertheless 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 footage to attempt to photographically reconstruct the previous, ranging from the current. It’s about discovering, within the current, a sequence of individuals, landscapes, visible parts, and so forth. This may occasionally enable us to create an environment which may show evocative – for myself, as a lot as for these taking a look at my pictures.

Out of your perspective, what’s it that makes this territory magical?
I feel that all of us have particular recollections of the locations the place we had been glad, throughout our childhood. And for me, town of Hellín as a lot because the street 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 keep in mind, was due extra to seeing them in previous household pictures, 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 assumed I did keep 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 chargeable for the Leica Gallery, proposed the project to me.
There’s a second within the novel when one of many characters says: “The previous must be stored fastidiously on the opposite aspect of the door; but when it knocks, there isn’t any treatment however to let it in.” I additionally thought that the title was very opportune, as a result of it was a venture sponsored by Leica; and the novel speaks about Gerda Taro. She was in all probability one of many first ladies to make use of a Leica digital camera, in 1936, in the course of the Spanish Civil Warfare, the place she went within the firm of Robert Capa.

What occurred, once you “opened the door”?
Effectively, as occurs so typically 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 footage are fairly mystical – what do you hope to evoke within the viewer?
After all, I imagine that pictures, and artwork usually, ought to before everything be evocative, as you say. And it’s much more vital 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 via area, but additionally via time. Christian Boltanski, the conceptual artist, used to say that true communication is established when the sender and receiver someway share a typical previous. And, in a extra generic sense, we are able to see ourselves as many individuals who share sure elementary parts 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 now not right here, about those that are now 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, in the event you take a look at the photographs fastidiously, I feel that human presence is a continuing someway; it’s about working not solely with folks, however with the traces they go away 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 discipline. Nevertheless, my manner 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 sooner or later: the easy description of one thing may be poetry.

What tools did you utilize?
Within the analogue pictures period, I all the time labored with a Leica (M4-P, M6). My favorite kind of movie was Kodachrome; and, after it was now not out there, Ektachrome or Fujichrome. This venture was photographed with a Leica M11, loaned to me by Leica. The expertise of discovering myself with an previous and beloved device was very passable; it meant that I recaptured previous sensations. I primarily used a 35mm lens; sometimes, a 50mm lens. I feel I’ll proceed working with a Leica; particularly, with an M10-P.

Please full the next sentence: To me pictures is …
a way with which to attempt to perceive the world visually, and to “communicate” to the eyes of others, via photographs. A marvellous craft that rapidly become 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 discipline, it coexists in shut relationship with the phrase. Choice 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 pictures on the web site of Agence Vu.

Leica M

The Leica. Yesterday. Immediately. Tomorrow.

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