I was commissioned to write this a few years ago for the Central European House of Photography in Bratislava (and thank you to all the photo...
Tuesday, 3 November 2015
Blackcelona: Not so much noir as charcoal
Blackcelona is a book of photographs of Barcelona by Salvi Danes. It's got a black cover and the pictures are kind of dark, mostly in black and white, with a slightly underexposed edge to them. It's dark. Hence Blackcelona.
There are portraits, archive pictures, interiors, and night time pictures all adding up to a feeling of a city that is slightly out of time.
It's not so much noir as charcoal, but despite this there is some colour in the portraits and odd pictures that don't fit - the innards of a beast that look like an offcut from the cover of Grand Circle Diego.
Hairdos, watches and cinema seats all put in an appearance, the cinema seats hinting at some pornographic underworld from a distant past lying somewhere beneath the surface. A bit of bondage adds to the sense of sexual mystery.
Roundabouts, bird wings and a sense of some deep Catalan past click in. I'm not sure what it all means, or even if it means anything, but again, it's a book that is not trying to be obvious. You have to read the pictures and work it out for yourself.
And that's always a rewarding process.
Buy the book here.