Jun. 15, 2011 / Jul. 29, 2011

Javier Ayarza "Extras"

Fúcares Gallery presents at its space in Madrid the first solo exhibition of Javier Ayarza.

Throughout a career of over 20 years, the work by Javier Ayarza (Palencia, 1961) has progressively been defining itself as a relentless inquiry into the photographic medium itself and into that which is more inherent to it, the possibility of constructing a gaze on the world. Photography, with its capacity for recording that which is real, is unavoidably characterised by its double nature as reflection and image. An individual who looks and a world that is looked upon, reflected and captured. This dichotomy, simple in its enunciation, hides behind a long process of thought and construction that shapes itself as the backbone in the evolution of photography-making.

The “constructive” nature of the photographic gaze, the capacity of the image to “talk” about that which is real and build it, is what Javier Ayarza has assumed as the central core of his artistic proposal. And as it is only natural, he is aware of the political implications hidden behind any image pattern, for in as much as they talk about the world and convey it, thus shaping it, they always adopt a stance about it.
Lately, we have been witnessing a needed revision of the relationships between event, history, memory and image that tries to restore and update the importance of this stance when it comes to constructing a gaze on our present. This also implies a questioning of realism as a moral issue, and of the capacity of photography to construct representations that are able to provide us with elements to interpret the historical conditions of our present. The field Javier Ayarza has chiefly devoted his efforts, to develop photography-making that can generate images in which history ceaselessly unfolds and remakes itself, is territory (his territory).

If the work was focussed on landscape so far, in Extras, Ayarza’s latest work, the referent is the human side of an event strongly loaded with ideology in its origin, such as the feast day for the village’s patron saint. Here, the images serve as a strategy in which the act of photographing gives sense to a shapeless materiality on the verge of dissolution. Capturing those acts in an image is bringing to light the germ of that dissolution and of its failure – it is disclosing the impossibility of placing ourselves in a present that has been definitively taken over by the weight of the past.

Finally, the method also opts to dissolve the order of things and to remake it by assembling them in a grid shape. With this reconstruction operation, that which is visible is re-exhibited, placing in the foreground the existence of a gaze and a stance (the artist’s) that join and relate the elements shaping reality.