EVERY DAY YOU PLAY WITH THE LIGHT OF THE UNIVERSE. A love poem with the same title by Pablo Neruda inspired the first solo exhibition of the renowned Spanish artist duo Albarrán Cabrera in the Netherlands. For Anna Cabrera and Angel Albarrán, Neruda’s words aptly describe “what it feels like to be a photographer” and also pinpoints a vibrant aspect of their artistic work.
The world around us is full of light, beauty and magical moments. Photography that discovers and captures these moments has the power to touch and move the viewer. With their subtle imagery and unique print techniques, the two artists do just that, creating poetic works of art that bear witness to a deep awareness of the soulfulness of nature.
The British writer Robert Macfarlane comments on another crucial aspect of this duo’s work, the role of memory in photography. “Place is more than a location. It implies some mix of memory, sensual experience and interpretation. There are landscapes we bear with us in absentia; those places that live on in memory long after they have withdrawn in actuality are among the most important landscapes we possess.” A leitmotif of this oeuvre is the enquiry into how images trigger individual memories in the viewer. Depending on their social and cultural backgrounds and their personal experience, viewers perceive images in completely different ways. The artists amplify these thoughts: “For us, photographs do not just reinforce our memory, they also provide us with a wider knowledge and a better understanding of the world around us. Our aim is to play with the viewers’ memories and to construct a representation inside their minds. We are not interested in evoking a specific feeling, but in creating prints that trigger different feelings in different viewers.”
Albarrán Cabrera see their photographs as objects in their own right: they handcraft their prints using classic printing methods, such as platinum and silver halide, but they also invent new ones, such as pigment prints on gold leaf, thus making unique works of art. The poetry and sensuality of their prints reveal an unrivalled craftsmanship and invest them with a complexity that goes far beyond a straightforward image. These are works that challenge and play with the viewer’s imagination.
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