These pictures from Barcelona by Xavier Ribas have touched me in a very special way - they speak of people with relatively free minds, still able to create a kind of paradise right in the middle of nowhere.
The great Spanish photographer Joan Fontcuberta describes it well: "Quite spontaneously, people preserve, manage and recycle these spaces, effectively keeping them out of the efficient, productive order of the city: places for walking, sunbathing, picknicking, sport and exercise…It seems paradoxical that these spaces –not yet codified, as yet without regulation- are where people still have a chance to take the initiative." (from text on Xavier Ribas’ photographs in BLINK, Phaidon Press, London 2002).
I am glad that Xavier accepted this invitation to The F Blog. As a quite frequent visitor to his city they remind me of "el Mediterráneo." I was not born there, but I have felt the magic. /Ulf
"En la ladera de un monte,
más alto que el horizonte.
Quiero tener buena vista.
Mi cuerpo será camino,
le daré verde a los pinos
y amarillo a la genista.
Cerca del mar. Porque yo
nací en el Mediterráneo."
- Joan Manuel Serrat
Xavier Ribas was born in Barcelona in 1960. He lives and works in Brighton and Barcelona.
Studies of Social Anthropology at the University of Barcelona (1990) and Documentary Photography at the Newport School of Art and Design (1993). Since 2000 he is Senior Lecturer at the University of Brighton and visiting Lecturer at the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (since 2004).
Xavier Ribas has participated in numerous exhibitions in many countries. Just to mention a few from recent years:
2006 Invisible Structures, Galeria ProjecteSD, Barcelona, Spain
2005 Espacios transitorios. Fotoencuentros, Colegio de Arquitectos, Murcia, Spain
2002 Salamanca. A Photographic Project, Centro de Arte Contemporaneo, Salamanca, Spain
L'arxiu universal. La condició del document i la utopía fotogràfica moderna. Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), Oct 2008- Jan 2009.
Nou-Now. Contemporary Catalan Photography. F-Stop International Photography Festival, Leipzig.
Beyond The Country. Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork, Ireland. Curated by Matt Packer
Itinerarios Afines. 10 Fotógrafos españoles. Canton Photo Biennial. Curated by Olive María Rubio
European Parliament, Goethe Institut, Frankfurt, 2007 (touring)
Non Tutte le Strade Portano a Roma, Fotografia International Photography Festival, Rome
Please visit Xavier Ribas homepage to find out more.
All photos © Xavier Ribas
invited by ulf fågelhammar