The Mediterranean Sea has always been connected with the idea of cultural origin, trade, movement and tourism. As an essential setting for human development, this region of mild weather was one of the most inhabited places. 14.24 is inspired by the idea of temporary lapse, origin, destination and notion of journey. Taking the migratory movements as a starting point, the project focuses on the ideas of perception, construction and notion of space and place through a series of photographs showing different landscapes of Mediterranean coast areas lit up by the moonlight.
Through images, I set only one scene faced with multiple interpretations, allowing the fluctuation of the conflict generated by this diversity of readings before the represented image. With no light at all, these places are turned into unknown spaces with no referents to be located as an anthropological subject. For people arriving, however, these unknown spaces contain the ability to mutate and become places where to settle, in order to draw a vital story and develop new identity silhouettes for which the photography is a medium with the ability to provide new reading contexts, reflecting the oneiric element of a desire for search, risk and metamorphosis, always implicit in every journey.
Different points of the Mediterranean peninsular coast, the Canary Islands, Italy and Greece have been photographed since 2009. Nowadays, the migratory flows respond to causes which are more violent than the desire to get into unexplored land and find new settlements for the human race. I try to suggest a landscape where the picture boundaries fade away, a landscape which acts as a witness of time in multiple dimensions – climatological and luminous, systemic and political. Conceived as an opportunity and as a space open to the journey, it is a landscape which goes beyond vision conveying it a meaning; especially in the last years, particularly tragic when we have been witnesses of the decay of the structures which were the foundations of the idea of a Europe which appeared to be solid. However, it is not solid anymore and it does not work either.
14.24 is the distance in kilometres between Africa and Europe.
ABOUT JUAN FABUEL
Juan Fabuel (Valencia, 1976) holds a master’s degree in Media Science, a master’s degree in Cultural and Social Anthropology and a postgraduate in Photography, Video and New Media. In 2005, after working as a cultural producer and documentary film director for international companies, begun his artistic career developing his personal projects. In 2007 he relocated to New York City and attended some courses at the International Center of Photography (ICP). His projects have been shown both nationally and internationally in solo and group exhibitions – Descubrimientos PHotoEspaña, International Photography Contest Purificación García, Galleria delle Colonne (Parma), Galveias Palace (Lisboa), Bancaja Foundation (Valencia). In 2009 he was awarded with the Spanish Academy in Rome prize and in 2011 with the Spanish Academy in Paris prize. In 2013 he co-founded La Posta Foundation (Valencia) where he collaborated as a curator of art exhibitions until 2016. Currently he lives and works in Zürich.
The work of Juan Fabuel is placed between intimate and social structures, using fiction as an efficient tool to speak about reality and representativeness. He is aware that by altering and remodeling reality, new meanings and interpretations about the things and facts that we believe to know, are generated, which will eventually lead to develop new connotations and questions about ourselves. His artworks forget about narrative and focus on dynamics, dealing with our perception of the so-called reality, interpersonal relations, memory, time and the way that we interact with different emotional and physical landscapes.
Unless otherwise stated, all words and images in this article are © Juan Fabuel