07/05 – 06/06/2019

Construyendo Percepciones

Álvaro Trabanco

Álvaro Trabanco presents this Thursday, May 2 at 8:00 pm ‘Building Perceptions’, which brings together the photographic work of several years on the way to three countries that can be called home: Spain, Portugal and Turkey. Looking for similarities in the motives portrayed, they represent a path of reflection on the identity and discovery of roots and new homes.

Álvaro Trabanco (Gijón / Xixón, 1991)

There are many definitions that can be attributed to the term “art”, but here we will take the one that signifies what identifies us. Every social or collective group needs to be defined through some signs. A common past, a material reflection or a symbology is enough to build a story. In the case of Álvaro Trabanco (Gijón / Xixón, 1991), the search for his identity is closely linked to his geographical migrations. This made this young artist build his own story through the relationship he has created between photography and his most subjective views. Graduated in Graphic Design from the Higher School of Art of Asturias and the School of Art and Design of Caldas da Rainha, he has completed his Masters in Communication Design and New Media at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Lisbon.

2010 was the beginning of his interest in capturing landscapes and the events that have grown to configure the way of seeing and perceiving his own life. Since then, Álvaro Trabanco didn’t stop freezing his own visual experiences but has also documented customs and practices of those places that have become his home. The frames, rigorously calculated and aesthetically accurate, are always accompanied by a look that transcends the first effect. In these works, with one foot in Gijón/Xixón and other in Lisbon, Trabanco already shows the influences of great photographic references of the second half of the 20th century. Landscapes and projects that document changes, cities whose color masterfully combines with light and movements, and scenes of imposing beauty, refer to artists such as Ambroise Tezenas, Erns Hass or Andrew Moore.

In 2018 the artist finished a research project where he consolidated his way of doing conscious conceptualization. With, Tras los pasos, Álvaro Trabanco narrated the migratory experiences of his relatives to link them with his own experience during the last six years in Portugal. In all this time Álvaro has developed his photographs far from his country of origin, which has led him to participate effectively and consequently within the psychological, social and family realities in the search for personal identity. Without neglecting the aesthetics, the techniques were a decisive factor in which it merged traditional media, the digital world and photojournalism.

Construyendo percepciones follows the footprints that marked the homes he has conquered. The return to Asturias, as a reference sign, has always meant a pilgrimage to his roots, analyzed from the perspective of who lives abroad. The way to capture and interpret the objects come together in the creation of his identity and point to the common ground of the way in which he builds the images. The narrative richness behind the photographs deepens the succession of the events and the subject portrayed.

 “The myriametre portrayed in the middle of the vegetation works as a tomb of those who never had it: as my great-grandfather, who was killed by the fascists in front of that point. The photograph of the wagons is the María Luisa Coal Mine on its first day without activity after its closure. The long line of ships is awaiting authorization to cross the Bosphorus – at a time when a second artificial strait of serious environmental consequences will be built. The tree branches bending over themselves face the paradisiacal Anzak Cove, where tens of thousands of soldiers died in the First World War. In the aesthetic condition of the photographs lies the desire to look at them carefully. Plastic and velvety textures that explore color, meditative and hypnotic landscapes, determining formats and black and white photographs, of refined nuances, communicate with the deepest memory of a diligent spectator.”

Álvaro Trabanco y María M. Vallina