First, you are. And, that is something. After you are turned into something. Surely you were born for it. But, of course, you haven’t got any idea of all this, you are the result of a desire made in the mind of your creator. But no one explain you this and, so, you simply are. And when you realize, it’s late to be other thing than what you are made for. So, what you gonna do? You have not solution than go towards, put a good face a live for what you are made for. And it turns out that you are an icon, with all the things that represents. All the people see what they want to see of you except what you really are and you realize that the life is a fate. And it’s true, the icons live are risky. If they make at first a good impression, they lives will be lucky; if not, wake up will be an other challenge.
Some like that goes with the City of Arts and Sciences of Valencia: it is a controversial icon, undervalued and almost hated by the citizens as admired by the tourists. And how is usual, both are correct. The citizens because of the high public spend, the swollen and uncontrolled bills paid through our taxes, the constant imperfections and the lacking of public services that they offer. The tourists are correct too, because of the magnificence and singularity of the buildings and because the space itself. Are at the end we, the photographers, that we go with…we go with… which do we go? The cultural world of this city hates this space and this architectonic group in the same way that they keep an eye on them and they treat them like an elusive lover, like a forbidden love, like if this will be a Capuleto and you an alpha male of the Montescos. So, you are undecided.
And you resolve it. You resolve that you want to make photos of it. But you don’t make photos of the icon. You don’t make photos of the misery of the architectonic group. You make photos of the space, what it is and what it gives. An individual vision of you want to say it so. You make photos to the play of lights and shadows, the color contrasts, the lines and their plays. You make photos to what it is and what we not see because the icon condition or because we don’t want to see further of the icon. You try to observe the space, sit down, walk through it at different times. You try to listen for what it want to tell you. And you realize that whatever the bad things, it has good things. I don’t know if ones compensate to the others, but there are even if people don’t want to see them.
The icons live are complicated. The belief is an extreme duality. But it’s inherent to their iconic condition, to be the symbol of something. I try to look for the middle point and search what the space gives to us getting out of the way the noise that surrounds it. I looked for a clean pictures, that talks about this space, with a few human figuration (although they are who gives life to the urban groups). I try to play with the elements that conform and complete not only the architectonic space, but all the area itself include the gardens and other surrounding elements. And there is where I think the power of this series is: in the balance, in take of the extremism and the mélange that the group carry to only see that: the architectonic group and its space, what it is, what it has, what it offer to us. And like a photographer, make a slow and deliberate reflection about this space is the only way for talk about it in an individual way.
The icons life are never easy, all we know, but all are always something more than an icon. And be worth the effort to knowing it.
He is a landscape photographer based in Valencia, Spain, where he works and resides from his born in 1984. He is an Art Historian by the University of Valencia and a graduated photographer by the EASD of Valencia.
all images and text © Ricardo Dominguez Alcaraz