InCadaqués’ new programme pushes the boundaries of photographic exhibitions

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(above) © Ismail Ferdous – Sea Beach

Set within the beautiful town of Cadaqués, the festival’s exhibitions engage with their surrounding landscapes

Next week, the sixth instalment of InCadaqués International Photo Festival will open in the small town of Cadaqués, situated on the northern coast of Catalonia in Spain. Taking place toward the end of the summer, the festival is a highly anticipated celebration of photographic talent from around the world. This year’s edition features 37 artists and 22 exhibitions, each of which will be held in one of 20 different galleries and spaces in and around the town

InCadaqués builds on the area’s long history of artistic pursuit, with the town and the surrounding countryside having played host to several iconic artists over the years, including Salvador Dalí, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp and Richard Hamilton. Surrounded by the picturesque Cap de Creus nature reserve, Cadaqués offers endlessly inspiring vistas and a connection to the nearby mountainous landscapes that have for so long served as home and muse to painters and photographers alike.

“The festival was founded six years ago with the desire to create a beautiful photography event in Cadaqués, the village that inspired Dalí and the Surrealists and is itself oddly surreal,” explains co-founder and producer Olivia Seigneurgens. “Our goal was to discover new concepts and share our passion for photography with as many people as possible.”

© Thomas Mailaender - Residencia artistica InCadaques 2022 - Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí

Fittingly, one of the highlights from this year’s offerings is an exhibition that will be taking place in Salvador Dalí’s house, situated only moments away from Cadaqués in the small village of Portlligat. Here, attendees will find on show Gold Horizon, a project by multimedia artist Thomas Mailaender that looks to “revive the spirit of [Dalí] and of surrealism”. Within, Mailaender enters into a dialogue with the late artist through images of vernacular objects that he has captured against the background of his home.

Elsewhere at the festival, the natural world becomes a thematic link between several of the exhibitions. In his ongoing body of work titled Mu, Dutch fine art photographer Paul Cupido draws inspiration from his childhood surroundings on the island of Terschelling, “where the ebb and flow of tides and the cycles of the moon reflect the fleetingness of life”. The series of landscapes, portraits and still lifes speak to this transience, as Cupido engages with notions of love, time, and death.

© Ismail Ferdous - Sea Beach
© Denisse Ariana Pérez

Meanwhile, New York-based photographer Ismail Ferdous explores beach culture in Bangladesh, focusing specifically on Cox’s Bazar – the world’s longest natural beach and a place where Ferdous spent much time as a child. His surreal images reveal the unusual traditions associated with the area, such as the unofficial dress code that sees beachgoers arrive in their finest clothing for a day spent frolicking in the water. 

In Denisse Ariana Pérez’s project Agua, the water itself takes centre stage, as she attempts to understand our connection to this precious resource, taking the viewer on an intimate journey through the “magical relationship” we share with it. Driven by an “obsession” with the human experience, the Caribbean-born, Barcelona-based photographer has always had a fascination with water and says that it allows her to get closer to her subject by “dissolving facades”. She writes in the project’s description: “I keep coming back to water scenes. I keep coming back to lakes, rivers and oceans… Becoming one with water is not about rushing but rather about flowing. And flowing is the closest thing to being.”

Decade of Change series winner © Cynthia MaiWa Sitei
Decade of Change series winner © Ligia Popławska

Finally, British Journal of Photography’s Decade of Change exhibition showcases and celebrates some of the world’s best climate-focused photography and is composed of images from the winners of this year’s award. Going on show only shortly after a flurry of global natural disasters, these evocative photographs take on added importance, and, set against the stunning Catalonian landscape, serve as a poignant reminder of what we stand to lose.

Speaking on why InCadaqués is such a special event, the festival’s co-founder and president, Valmont Achalme, says: “The light in Cadaqués is incredible, but there is also freedom to be able to explore and experiment outside the traditional exhibition frameworks. One unusual feature is that all the photographs in the festival are for sale, which make things exciting as each photograph becomes an object of desire.’

InCadaqués International Photo Festival will take place from 29 September to 9 October 2022. Tickets are available to purchase through the website.

Daniel Milroy Maher

Daniel Milroy Maher is a London-based writer and editor specialising in photographic journalism. His work has been published by The New York Times, Magnum Photos, Paper Journal, GUP Magazine, and VICE, among others. He also co-founded SWIM Magazine, an annual art and photography publication.