The exhibition Photographs as a public space responds to two fundamental objectives. On the one hand, it announces the works that in the last three years have become part of the National Collection of Photography of the Generalitat of Catalonia and that are currently conserved in various institutions: the MNAC, the MACBA, the Photographic Archive of Barcelona and the National Archive of Catalonia. And, on the other, it proposes a reflection on the experience that brings into play photography understood as a set of practices and languages that make up a space in which everyone participates in different ways.
The National Photography Collection was created in 2014 on the initiative of the National Photography Plan, with the main objective of ensuring that the most significant photographic author expressions in Catalonia are present, protected and valued. During the years 2015, 2016 and 2017 a total of 881 works of 45 authors have been acquired, of which in the exhibition Photographs as public space the work carried out by 19 authors with photographs and projects, whose chronologies span since 1959, is presented. (with several photographs by Francisco Ontañón) until 2013 (Werker Collective, Aleix Plademunt, Jordi Guillumet-Mònica Roselló and Tanit Plana-Laia Ramos).
The historical transversality of the acquisitions of the National Collection of Photography of Catalonia confronts us with photographs of very different epochs and purposes that explain the richness and importance of the reflections that have been raised through the characteristics of this medium. At the same time, this diversity constitutes a great opportunity to get closer to the ideas from which the photographic projects that make up this collection have been created and with which we reason what is included under the general heading of “photography”.
Through a sequence that demonstrates the contrast of different modalities and approaches, this exhibition aims to highlight this plurality of photographic culture, insisting to what extent their predominant stories not only affect the creation or certain practices of the authors, but also regulate and condition our experience as spectators. Learning to recognize this diversity of ideas, approaches and practices is what allows us to realize how and to what degree more generic discourses on the medium modulate the effects that photographs can produce and how we participate in their constant resignification .