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PHOTO OF THE DAY
Luciana Pampalone, Graflex, 2012 © Luciana Pampalone
Luciana Pampalone, Graflex, 2012 © Luciana Pampalone

PHotoEspaña 2014 opened in Madrid last week. The festival ocupies a strange place in the photo world. The locations are sumptuous (The Reina Sofia Museum, the Museum of Romanticism, the Telefonica) and some of the exhibitions are simply marvelous (see our selection below), but no one seems to be talking about it and the exhibitions are deserted. The festival is put together by friends and curators for the 70 journalists invited the first day and then basta!

There are reasons for this indifference. In fact, it’s not so much a festival but a month of photography. A festival can only function in a defined space where its participants constantly cross each other’s paths. The Mois de la Photo in Paris succeeds because it incorporates itself with other events: the Salon de la Photo, auctions and, especially, Paris Photo and its ancillary festivals.

In Madrid, there’s no such luck. What’s more, all the exhibitions charge admission and the organizer’s communication with the city is nonexistent. To top it all off, the museum guards don’t seem to know where the exhibitions are. Until the concept is completely redesigned, PhotoEspaña will remain a gathering for a few insiders who come to discover a few surprises. There are worse things to be, but it’s still a shame.

FESTIVAL
PHotoEspaña
Until July 27th, 2014
Madrid, Spain

www.phe.es 

See more

Festival
PHotoEspaña 2014
Chema Conesa

For over thirty years, Chema Conesa, winner of the 2012 Madrid Regional Government Photography Award, has been assembling an extensive biography of Spain through his portraits. His sitters include leading Spanish figures in a whole range of fields, as well as international c...

Festival
PHotoEspaña 2014
Antoni Arissa

Espacio Fundación Telefónica is hosting the first-ever retrospective of Antoni Arissa, a leading Spanish avant-garde photographer His approach was influenced by New Vision precepts and by the work of contemporary European photographers. This exhibition com...

Festival
PHotoEspaña 2014
Josep Renau

The Valencian artist Josep Renau was a remarkable exponent of the photomontage technique. His links with the Communist Party, dating back to 1931, together with his political views and the influence of art movements such as Expressionism, Dadaism and Surrealism, led him...

Festival
PHotoEspaña 2014
Lilian Bassman

Lillian Bassman’s long artistic career involved several equally-successful changes of direction. As a young woman, she worked simultaneously in painting, drawing and dance, disciplines she was later to build into her photography to create a unique new idiom. The exhibi...

Festival
PHotoEspaña 2014
Xavier Mulet

Xavier Mulet’s M. Ardan is a work of fiction, a photographic project influenced by the writings of Herman Melville, Gustave Flaubert, Guy de Maupassant, Edgar Allan Poe, Julio Verne, Robert Louis Stevenson, Joseph Conrad, Charles Darwin, H. G. Wells, Mark Twain an...

Festival
PHotoEspaña 2014
Photography 2.0

Photography 2.0 explores the changes taking place in Spanish photography in the context of mass image production, globalization and post-capitalism Joan Fontcuberta surveys the work of around twenty photographers born after 1970 who share a critical view of the new situation.&nbs...

Festival
PHotoEspaña 2014
La Palangana

La Palangana was a photography collective formed in 1959 by members of Madrid’s Real Sociedad Fotográfica, friends sharing similar aesthetic and theoretical convictions. Their chief aim was to move away from the academic, pictorialist criteria by which photograp...

Festival
PHotoEspaña 2014
Joan Vilatobà

Joan Vilatobà is one of the major figures of Spanish photographic pictorialism. Though praised by critics and specialists, his work has gone largely unnoticed by the general public. This exhibition looks at a series of thirty pieces representative of his unique career...

Festival
PHotoEspaña 2014
Photography and Architecture

Photography and Modern Architecture in Spain, 1925-1965 is the result of ongoing research, and provides the first explicit examination of the role played by photography in Spanish modernist architecture. The exhibition is broadly limited to the period specifically regarded b...

Festival
PHotoEspaña 2014
Photography in the 70’s

Though heirs, in a sense, to the Humanist realism of an earlier generation, the approach adopted by the six photographers was different in a number of ways: they shunned Neo-realist commonplaces and aimed for total honesty; they sought to observe and convey the world directly, so...

Festival
PHotoEspaña 2014
Photobooks in Spain

The history of photobooks in Spain was shaped by key historical events, such as the Civil War and the transition to democracy, which provided the subject matter for some of the finest productions. Other major themes in Spanish photobooks include: the changing social role and the ...