IN PICS: Eight highlights from Madrid's PhotoEspaña 2019

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IN PICS: Eight highlights from Madrid's PhotoEspaña 2019
Credit: Elina Brotherus - Fill with own imagination (Snow). PHotoEspaña.

Set to display over 1,000 works of photography and visual art across Madrid, PhotoEspaña, the internationally distinguished festival, is back for its 21st year.


Exhibitions will be dispersed over numerous museums, exhibition halls, art centres and galleries throughout the city. An international selection of work, from a range of artists, will be showcased tackling a range of themes from the importance of unknown landscapes to the experiences of teenager girls in Cuba. Here are The Local’s top picks:

Diana Markosian – "Over the Rainbow" Casa de América, June 5th- July 31th  

Credit: PHotoEspaña

Inspired by fantasy, this exhibition explores the transition from girl to woman in Cuba: the quinceañera. It addresses the spectacle of the tradition, with young girls depicted as princesses, playing with the themes of wealth and luxury and how young girls are presented with a fictitious ideal of what womanhood means.

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Sema D’Acosta – “OFFLAND. An Ideal Place, at Least” Centro Cultural Galileo. June 7th – July 23rd

Credit: PHotoEspaña

This collection explores how unfamiliar places, whether they may be imaginary or physical, allow human beings to escape reality and discover our desires, whether they may be imaginary or physical. Students Emilio Pemjean and Allessia Rollo invite us to consider the stimulating effects of unknown places.

Leila Alaoui –"The Moroccans" Casa Árabe. June 6th – September 22nd

Credit: PHotoEspaña

Following the tragic death of Leila Alaoui during a terrorist attack in Ouagagdougou, 2016, Casa Árabe, in association with the Leila Alaoui Foundation, has assembled a series of 20 portraits from the photographer’s collection. The images were taken by Alaoui while she was searching for inspiration from her own heritage, visiting towns and communities in her home country of Morocco.

Elina Brotherus – "PLAYGROUND" Fernán Gómez Centro Cultural de la Villa. June 5th – July 21st

Credit: PHotoEspaña

The Finnish artist, Elina Brotherus, was inspired by the Fluxus movement to create this quirky collection. Brotherus images present a colourful, energetic and perhaps absurd interpretation of the 1960s movement, which emphasized the importance of process over product.

Donna Ferrato – “Holy” Círculo de Bellas Artes. July 5th – September 22nd

Credit: PHotoEspaña 

In a 50-year journey from the sexual revolution of the 1960s to today, Donna Ferrato’s collection of photographs exhibits women, and the female body, in all their glory as they fight for equality across all aspects of life. It is a radical display of prevalence under the strain of the patriarchy.

Off Festival and Fringe


Julio Jiménez Corral – “Faith” La Fresh Gallery, June 6th – July 12th

Credit: PHotoEspaña

This intriguing exhibition invites us to consider the type of ideas that are founded on faith, and what may have been if certain ideas were championed as much as others. In a selection of 35 abstract images of architectural buildings, “Faith” brings to light moments in time that have been forgotten.

Kaveh Kazemi – “Revolutionaries The First Decade” Centro Internacional De Fotografia Y Cine. May 31st – June 30th

Credit: PHotoEspaña

Taken from his book, “Revolutionaries The First Decade”, this powerful collection by Kaveh Kazemi offers a thought-provoking presentation of the first decade after the Islamic Revolution in Iran, 1979, which was followed by the launch of a campaign of oppression, including the imposition of the use of the veil for women.

Lou Campos –“Does It Move or Not?” My Name’s Lolita Art. June 6th – July 26th

Credit: PHotoEspaña

Playing on the Japanese words used to describe whether something is eternal or not, this curious exhibition is an exploration of the animate and the inanimate.

List compiled by Alice Huseyinoglu

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