The waiting game III

The Waiting Game es un proyecto artístico que explora tres de las características que nos definen como especie: somos animales sociales, autoconscientes que vivimos en relación con nuestro entorno.
Con la presencia física del hombre o del animal en espacios rurales, urbanos e industriales, se pone de manifiesto la relación distópica del ser humano consigo mismo, con los otros y con la totalidad de su entorno.

En The Waiting Game III, el vínculo del perro con el hombre es el ejemplo escogido para abordar la manera en que nuestra especie se relaciona con el ámbito natural.
El perro ha figurado en nuestra cultura reciente como paradigma de fidelidad, peluche viviente o como ser entrañable.

Pero en este caso, se trata del perro que cumple con una función de guarda, que espera y protege generalmente encadenado o encerrado tras una verja, un muro o una valla metálica.
“El mejor amigo del hombre” vive sometido a su dueño, un humano capaz, como en otros muchos casos de relación con el entorno, de distanciarse emocionalmente de su animal hasta extremos de crueldad.

Y, sin embargo, son animales que se ofrecen sumisos a cumplir la misión que se les ha encomendado y que obedecen solícitos a la voz de su amo, de los que tan solo obtienen el alimento suficiente para perpetuar su día a día.
Perros que son tratados como un simple recurso instrumental.
Con estas imágenes se evidencia la relación que el hombre establece con la naturaleza.
Tras el control de la alimentación a través de la agricultura y del dominio de los animales, los humanos empezaron a sentir que pertenecían a una esfera existencial diferente y superior del mundo que los rodeaba y convirtieron su relación con la naturaleza en un continuado esfuerzo utilitarista que hasta día de hoy no ha dejado de aprovechar cualquier recurso disponible.
Hardcover, 88 pages.
Dimensions: 33.5cm X 25cm
Text from Juan Bonilla, Horacio Fernández

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Perfect Day

While popular culture beguiles us with the myth of an untamed nature in which to get away from the frustrations of our daily lives, our most habitual experience keeps us tied either to mass tourism or to fleeting escapes to places that are simply what is left of the landscape: vestiges of what was once countryside, now overrun by industry, housing developments and superstores. Appropriated out of necessity and transformed through sheer resilience, these places have ben rescued from their inhospitable dimension to become plausible options in which we can still enjoy a bit of free time in the sunshine, well away from the bustle of the city.
It is precisely these sites of leisure in post-industrial society that interest Txema Salvans, whose shots of them bring out all their surreal banality and sharpen the funny sense of strangeness they engender. He does this by means of two rhetorical devices. First, by maintaining a viewpoint distanced enough to prioritize the scene and its surrounding environment over the individual subjects and their expressions, and secondly, and most importantly, through the mechanism of ellipsis. Most of the pictures were taken on the beach or near the sea, and the sea is therefore what justifies the presence of people swimming, fishing or playing on the sand. And yet the sea is always invisible, because Salvans positions himself between the water and the characters, reversing the direction of their gaze. As a result, what the camera shows us is the degraded prospect that the characters want to turn their backs on. To turn one’s back on something is to ignore it, even to pretend that it does not exist.
Salvans’s work speaks to us, then, of this collective delusion that leads us to fantasize these transient scraps of paradise. Since we have no way of knowing if any other paradise is possible, we content ourselves with these moments of tranquillity and even happiness amidst the concrete and the factories. But it also speaks to us of a paradox in the politics of seeing. The paradox is that we viewers-of-the-photographs are denied the chance to see what the actors-in-the-photographs want to see, while what is rubbed in our eyes instead is what they do not want to see. It is Salvans who manages the instances of that dialectic and in doing so demonstrates, as Nietzsche held, that there are no facts, only interpretations.

Hardcover, 100 pages
Dimensions: 28 X 27.5 cm
Text from Joan Foncuberta


The waiting game II

"Txema Salvans’s previous series was also about life in the gaps and at the edges. It showed lone women, probably prostitutes, sitting or standing in very similar landscapes to the ones you see here.
In this book the figures are by water. In the previous book, they are by roads. All are waiting and, in a sense, all are fishing. (It is no coincidence that a slang term for a prostitute is a ‘hooker’).
Photography may be a matter of cold optics and geometry, but it is also invites connection and empathy. Finding the balance is not easy. It is tempting to use the camera merely to objectify and beautify. It is also tempting to use it in a way that pretends to reveal the inner lives of those who are photographed. Salvans resists both. He places himself, and us, on the cusp of beauty and ugliness, knowledge and ignorance, waiting for something else."

Hardcover, 88 pages.
Dimensions: 33.5cm X 25cm
Text from David Campany, Gabi Martínez

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The waiting game I

The Waiting Game gathers a series of photographs taken by Txema Salvans in the course of six years along the Mediterranean coastline of Spain. It forms a striking tableau of necessity and desire, with concept and visual expression fitting perfectly together. The essence of the work is an exploration of the varied and often surprising gamut of human longings and behaviors.
Txema photographed the exercise of prostitution along the roads and highways in its actual context: the intersections and roundabouts, the dead-end street of the polygons, the shoulders of the road. Marginal places that provide the setting for an activity as over-exposed as prostitution.

Hardcover, 88 pages.
Dimensions: 33.5cm X 25cm
Text from Martin Parr, Jhon Carlin


My Kingdom

My Kingdom by Catalan photographer Txema Salvans might bring together photographs of Spaniards enjoying the Mediterranean coast but it is not a book about soaking up the sun. Instead, Salvans cuts through the heat, offering a wry perspective on the political climate and ongoing discussions about nationhood in his home country. His book splices together black-and-white photographs of ordinary citizens enjoying the Mediterranean coast with words lifted from the annual Christmas speeches by the former King of Spain, Juan Carlos I (1975– 2015). In this subversive combination of image and text, the language acts like a socio-political filter, through which we see the gestures of the beach-goers parading their own small sovereignties: the freedom to nap, fish, picnic and play – against a backdrop of holiday condominiums, car parks, cranes and power stations.

Bringing together pomp and bathos, the book also includes an insert of extracts of speeches by infamous leaders including Benito Mussolini, Emperor Hirohito and Winston Churchill (as well as Charlie Chaplin), all proclaiming – seriously or irreverently – the authoritarian power of the state over people. My Kingdom underlines how leaders (whether they be, democratic, autocratic or monarchical) have routinely used nationalistic rhetoric to seduce their people, and as a fundamental mechanism of state control.

OTA bound paperback with silkscreen printed cover and flaps. With stapled booklet and postcard
176 pages, 65 tritone plates

Dimensions: 17.5 X 23 cm

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My Kindom "Especial Edition"

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Nice to meet you

Direct, intimate, and sincere, these photographs by Txema Salvans gather “the best things in life” through the unique perspective of his lens. A brief text by journalist Guillem Martínez introduces each group, as a loose guide for each scene, leaving sufficient room for the spectator to draw his own conclusions. Though the photographer does not explicitly appear in his photographs, his presence is felt through his subject matter. His photos capture diverse groups of people from all over Spain. These photos of families, friends, and even strangers, are transformed into a kind of family portrait.