Artist Blog

Every week an artist whose single image was published by Der Greif is given a platform in which to blog about contemporary photography.

Collective photobooks workshop: ‘Memory’

Jun 10, 2014 - Andres Medina

I´ve always heard that when I was a child, I used to entertain myself at home by looking at the family albums over and over again. My memories from that time are quite clear, although sometimes I am not entirely sure whether they are only reminiscences or just a mental construction based on these pictures I´ve seen so many times. Because photography, among other things, is an object of memory itself; it tells stories, keeps secrets and recalls nostalgia. Andrés Medina and I came up with the idea of organising a workshop on the shared memory. The goal was to create a collective photobook with the participants' pictures. However, it wasn´t as simple as that: no one was allowed to identify their own work in order to put the photographies at the service of the narrative. We kicked off with the following text: “When spring comes, the city’s inhabitants, by the hundreds of thousands, go out on Sundays with leather cases over their shoulders. And they photograph one another. They come back as happy as hunters with bulging game bags; they spend days waiting, with sweet anxiety, to see the developed pictures (anxiety to which some add the subtle pleasure of alchemistic manipulations in the darkroom, forbidding any intrusion by members of the family, relishing the acid smell that is harsh to the nostrils). It is only when thet have the photos before their eyes that they seem to take tangible possesion of the day spent, only then that the mountainstream, the movement of the child with his pail, the glint of the sun on the wife’s legs take the irrevocability of what has been and can no longer be doubted. Everything else can drown in the unreliable shadow of memory. […]” Calvino, Italo, 2012. The Adventure of a Photographer from Difficult Loves. The resulting books are Don´t pop my balloon and What still remains, two very different perspectives around unique memories. Workshop held at Central de Diseño DIMAD, Matadero Madrid. Spain. May 10, 2014. Author: Ana Zaragoza. Translation: Elena Sarmiento. [vimeo video_id="97072751" width="1000" height="563"]