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Festivals: Alberto Garcia-Alix curates PHotoEspaña 2017

Reading Time: 4 minutes

“Anders Petersen, Pierre Molinier, Antoine d’Agata, Teresa Margolles, Karlheinz Weinberger, Paulo Nozolino, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin produce a work outside of orthodoxies where emotion is everything,” states Alberto Garcia-Alix. “They take their great strength from their capacity for transmission and empathy.
“Like a spark. An intense current of excitement. We convulse. We fill ourselves with resonances. The comprehension of the universe as the last act. That is the great subliminal power that art has. The exaltation of the being.”
The Spanish photographer, known for his raw portraiture and involvement with the hedonistic post-Franco La Movida Madrilene, has been given free reign to curate PHotoEspaña’s 20th edition, and has taken a radical approach. Celebrating “work that lives outside the norms because it feeds off what is most intimate and passionate in the author”, he’s selected cult and obsessive projects, many of which have an element of sexual subversion.

Mexico, 2014 © Antoine d'Agata
Mexico, 2014 © Antoine d’Agata
He finds “exaltation takes flesh as a catapult for the senses” in d’Agata’s scenes of sexual encounter for example, and “fierce hedonism and independence” in Molinier’s fantastic and fetishistic self-portraits. Weinberger’s “voyeuristic and intimate” photographs of “rockers, bikers, lovers or rent boys”, meanwhile, are celebrated as “the key to liberation from a dull life”.
Margolles’ images, which show transgender sex workers standing in the ruins of clubs closed due to drugs and violence, are celebrated for asking why we are “neither seeing nor taking any position when faced with social or gender injustice and the aggression attached to it”; and Garcia-Alix sees “a world that continuously destroys itself” in Nozolino’s Loaded Shrine series.
He commends Petersen for his non-judgemental, unpretentious approach in his “masterpiece” and “generous work of shared humanity” Café Lehmitz , which was shot in the 1960s in a Hamburg dive-bar.
The six selected artists will exhibit their work at the Centro Centro, Círculo de Bellas Artes and Museo del Romanticismo in Madrid, while Broomberg & Chanarin will head up a group of creatives in an editorial laboratory in Tabacalera, charged with seeking out “new proposals for photography publishing”.
PHotoEspaña takes place from 31 May – 27 August in Madrid. For more information, visit www.phe.es
Mexico, 2015 © Antoine d'Agata
Mexico, 2015 © Antoine d’Agata
Mexico, 2015 © Antoine d'Agata
Mexico, 2015 © Antoine d’Agata
From the series Cafe Lehmitz © Anders Petersen
From the series Cafe Lehmitz © Anders Petersen
From the series Cafe Lehmitz © Anders Petersen
From the series Cafe Lehmitz © Anders Petersen
© Estate Karlheinz Weinberger, courtesy galerie Esther Woerdehoff Paris, 2017
© Estate Karlheinz Weinberger, courtesy galerie Esther Woerdehoff Paris, 2017
© Estate Karlheinz Weinberger, courtesy galerie Esther Woerdehoff Paris, 2017
© Estate Karlheinz Weinberger, courtesy galerie Esther Woerdehoff Paris, 2017
Hanel © ADAGP Pierre Molinier, courtesy kamel mennour, Paris
Hanel © ADAGP Pierre Molinier, courtesy kamel mennour, Paris
L'éperon d'Amour, 1965-1967 © ADAGP Pierre Molinier, courtesy kamel mennour, Paris
L’éperon d’Amour, 1965-1967 © ADAGP Pierre Molinier, courtesy kamel mennour, Paris
Loaded Shine, 12, Ellis Island, 2011 © Paulo Nozolino
Loaded Shine, 12, Ellis Island, 2011 © Paulo Nozolino
Loaded Shine 18, Lisboa, 2013 © Paulo Nozolino
Loaded Shine 18, Lisboa, 2013 © Paulo Nozolino
Andrea at the Discoteca La Madelon, 2016 © Teresa Margolles
Andrea at the Discoteca La Madelon, 2016 © Teresa Margolles
La Gatta at the club Las vegas, 2016 © Teresa Margolles
La Gatta at the club Las vegas, 2016 © Teresa Margolles
Diane Smyth

Diane Smyth is a freelance journalist who contributes to publications such as The Guardian, The Observer, The FT Weekend Magazine, Creative Review, The Calvert Journal, Aperture, FOAM, IMA, Aesthetica and Apollo Magazine. Prior to going freelance, she wrote and edited at BJP for 15 years. She has also curated exhibitions for institutions such as The Photographers Gallery and Lianzhou Foto Festival. You can follow her on instagram @dismy

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