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Aitor Ortiz

‘Gaudí. Intimate Impressions’ at Kutxa Kultur Artegunea, San Sebastián

A set of 120 images of various buildings designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (Reus, 1852 - Barcelona, 1926) are on show in the exhibition entitled Intimate Impressions of the photographer Aitor Ortiz; the buildings include Casa Milá, Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló, Parc Güell, Torre Bellesguard, Palau Güell, Casa Vicens, Casa Calvet, the Güell pavilions, the crypt of the Güell Colony and the mock-up workshop of the Sagrada Familia.

Nov 15, 2019

Although the visitor is able to recognise the specific building of which this or that photo was taken, Aitor Ortiz does not try to facilitate this recognition nor does he try to impede it. As a specialist in photographing today’s complex, large-scale architectural structures, this is his first incursion into the field of a historical architect who possessed a unique, mighty visual power. Out of respect and admiration, the photographer establishes a delicate, intimate conversation with the architect in which each one speaks to the visitor.

In this project on Antoni Gaudí’s architecture it might seem that Aitor Ortiz has turned his gaze towards a designer who worked wonders with architectural space while masterly using a creative exuberance dedicated to the design of details; these two reasons prompted him to devote his attention to an architecture that was so different from any that had previously absorbed his attention.

Nevertheless, when photographing Gaudí’s architectural work, Aitor Ortiz does not renounce who he has been and who he is; the reason is that in the Catalan architect he has managed to find a Gaudí parallel to the beholder and one who amazes us with his shapes and colours, another Gaudí who is not less than the previous one, who also exists, although he has not been observed thoroughly, a more subtle, delicate Gaudí, a barely imperceptible, almost secret Gaudí, a Gaudí who passes unnoticed between the weird creations of his undulating imagination.

Aitor Ortiz’s camera functions like a revealing eye of that which, while remaining in full view, remains invisible to an awestruck gaze, exhausted by a story brimming with narrative wealth. But there is another story in Gaudí: it is the one that this unique photographer with a solid personality has seen.

When one stands before buildings such as Casa Milá, Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló or Torre Bellesguard, is it possible not to end up with visual repetition, with the iconic stereotype tackled a thousand times over by image professionals, the mass media, or tourists? The photographic overfeeding surrounding the work of the Catalan architect, with the sequelae of visual noise and iconic saturation, compels us to desire and seek —in the mystery of the ultimate silence, in the dissolution that allows our consciousness to remember and understand it.

15.11.2019 – 16.02.2020

Curator: Javier González de Durana