IBASHO presents Albarrán Cabrera’s second solo exhibition
IBASHO presents Albarrán Cabrera’s second solo exhibition Pale Blue ●. The exhibition is very fitting for the state we, as inhabitants of this planet, find ourselves in at the moment. We are standing at the crossroads and have to choose the right path forward to save our health and the environment we live in.
Pale Blue ● intends to reconnect us with the Earth and Nature. With this visual project Albarrán Cabrera want to give us a new perspective on our role in relation to our planet:
We are but a little anecdote in the evolution of our planet and in our pride, we state that we are the ones destroying the planet. The truth is that by poisoning the oceans, the soil and the air, we are only destroying the human race. Mother Earth has been without us for eons and she will go on. Earth is prepared to evolve and adapt in a way mankind cannot. There is only one way to stop this separation from our origins and it means to restore our relationship with the Oceans, the Earth and Nature as a whole.
— Albarrán Cabrera
Pale Blue ● is also a homage to both an iconic photograph and an iconic person. The photograph is the one showing planet Earth, taken on February 14, 1990, by the Voyager 1 space probe from a record distance of about 6 billion kilometers, as part of that day's Family Portrait series of images of the Solar System. This humbling view of Earth from 6 billion km away is known as the 'Pale Blue Dot.’
The person is the astronomer Carl Sagan. in his 1994 book, 'Pale Blue Dot', Carl Sagan comments on what he sees as the greater significance of the photograph:
"...There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."
- Carl Sagan
Next to the exhibition Albarrán Cabrera have published a book, together with the (M)éditions & IBASHO, which is already available. Exhibition and book are ‘a symbolic trip from where humans are now and moving backwards to the origins of the earth. When we think about the beginnings of our planet, everything seemed to be far more interlinked. In fact, it is still so. We are the ones who feel detached.’ - Albarrán Cabrera
The exhibition runs from 28 January - 14 March 2021 at IBASHO, Tolstraat 67, 2000 Antwerp
Angel Albarrán (b.1969, Barcelona) and Anna Cabrera (b. 1969, Sevilla) have worked collaboratively as art photographers since 1996. A rich inner philosophy about memory and experience — and an alchemical curiosity for photographic printmaking — guide their aesthetic practice. Influenced by both occidental and oriental thinkers and artists, their photographs question our assumptions of time, place and identity in order to stimulate a new understanding of one’s own experience and perception. For the artists, “being conscious of our surroundings isn’t just an important part of life — our surroundings and how we interpret them is life as we know it.”
The question running like a thread throughout their work is how images trigger individual memories in the viewer. "We are particularly interested in memories. Our aim is to play with viewers’ memories and to construct a representation inside their minds. Our images are the bare bones of this mental construction.”
Angel Albarrán’s love for photography was inspired by his grandfather. A carpenter by trade, Albarrán’s grandfather created cameras for the photographers in his province before taking up the art himself. Anna Cabrera found her passion at age 16 when her father lent her his Voigtländer camera to take on an academic trip to Paris. Since beginning their collaboration, the artists have attended workshops, learning from such masters as Humberto Rivas and Toni Catany. They have deepened their personal beliefs through the world of literature and science, and through extensive travels in East Asia and Western Europe.
While inspired by literature, painting, film, science and philosophy, Albarrán Cabrera specifically employ the medium of photography to convey their worldview:
"Viewers interpret photographs subjectively by relating them to their culture, experience and memory. This means that as photographers, we can explain complex subject matter, or the relationship between various subjects, without using verbal language and its linguistic code. Instead, we use images and prints. We believe that photography can help viewers understand challenging concepts in a different way. A set of images creates a harmony between the viewers’ wavelength and our own. There is a gap between reality and what we understand as real. And photography (as Japanese dramatist Chikamatsu once said about art) lies in the frontier between the real and unreal, the true and the false. Thus, it helps us to “see” what is hidden from us.”
Albarrán Cabrera tirelessly experiment with a diverse range of printing processes such as platinum, palladium, cyanotype, and gelatin silver print. While often toning their darkroom prints with selenium, sepia, or tea, the artists also invent their own methods to add tonal depth to their artworks. The artists use hand-made gampi paper with either gold leaf or mica for their pigment prints that emit a radiance akin to Japanese silk painting. As Albarrán Cabrera have pointed out "this wide range of processes and materials serve a single purpose: to give us far more parameters to play with the viewer’s imagination than a mere image. The texture, colour, finishing, tones – even the border – of a print can provide the viewer with valuable information.”
Albarran Cabrera's photographs have been exhibited in galleries and photo fairs in Spain, Japan, Switzerland, USA, Belgium, The Netherlands, France, Germany, Lebanon, and Italy. Private collections and institutions that house their photographs include Hermès, Goetz Collection, Banco de Santander and De Nederlandsche Bank among others. They have also produced photographic prints for institutions such as Fundació La Pedrera, Barcelona; Fundació Toni Catany, Mallorca; Reina Sofía Museum, Madrid; FotoColectania, Barcelona; the Photographic Archive, Barcelona. They have collaborated with publishers such as Adelphi Edizioni, Mondadori Libri, Penguin Random House, Diogenes Verlag, RM Verlag and Ediciones Atalanta and companies/institutions such as La Monnaie De Munt, -Belgium's federal opera house.