It’s little more than a decade since Ricardo Cases took his first tentative steps into the world with his personal work, exhibiting as part of New Spanish Photography at Lodz Fotofestiwal in 2007, a group show that travelled on to China and Slovakia. More than a dozen solo shows followed across Spain over the next three years before his international breakthrough with the book Paloma al aire [Pigeons in flight], published by Dewi Lewis in 2011. Ostensibly, the book follows pigeon-fanciers in Valencia and Murcia going about a local racing ritual, painting male birds for a competition in which the winner is the cock that attracts the hen. But with its distinctive spiral-bound, notebook appearance, and Cases’ tight framing, emphasising the surreality of the chase, it acquired a cult following, marking the arrival of a singular talent. The unconventional traits to this and his subsequent works are clearly evident in his first major survey exhibition, on show in Madrid from 13 June to 22 July at the spectacular Sala Canal Isabel II, as part of this year’s Photo España.
Born in 1908, Minor White lived at a time when being openly gay was risky. He remained in the closet for much of his life, fearful of losing his teaching positions at institutions such as the California School of Fine Arts, Rochester Institute of Technology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology – a factor which helped shape his aesthetic vision, argues an exhibition of his work currently on show in Madrid, “employing close-ups and cropping to express what couldn’t be shown”.
Blank Paper: Histoires du présent immédiat [Stories of the Immediate Present], which features recent work by Julián Barón, Ricardo Cases, Federico Clavarino, David Hornillos, Alejandro Marote, Óscar Monzón, Bernardita Morello, Miren Pastor, Michele Tagliaferri, Fosi Vegue and Antonio M. Xoubanova, opened this week at the offbeat Ground Control space in Arles. Images from the six-member collective are intertwined with those from teachers and alumni from the eponymous school
“The project started in 2007 when the economic crisis started in Spain,” says Bree Zucker about Girlfriend, her project on the apocalyptic partying of a group of young recession-battered Spanish lesbians. “The project follows one group of women, this lost generation. They call them the ‘nini’ generation in Spain; ‘ni estudia, ni trabaja’ (not studying, not working). My specific interest is one circle of women, but in the larger context it’s about this lost generation of young women.” At a time when 26 per cent of the Spanish population was unemployed and 56 per cent of those under 24 without a job, this lost generation represented a ticking time bomb of frustration, boredom and anger for Spain. Many young Spaniards have emigrated to other European countries to escape the lack of opportunity. But for those without the skills, training or linguistic ability, there was another solution; to stay in Spain and party like there’s no tomorrow. This was the side of Spain that Zucker focused on after attaching herself to a charismatic young woman called Boli. “I met Boli …