“Maybe you also like”
and other dictatorships
How many pictures have you taken today? A selfie when you left home, a photo of the coffee to take on the street, maybe you uploaded one to Instagram, or passed it through Whatsapp. It’s at hand, it’s a daily tool: Your mobile allows you to immortalize in a moment that hat that fits you so well or the slide that you refuse to take notes in class, if you feel like it Who was going to refuse?
In a second, that photograph becomes a public event, thousands of people see it, hundreds may decide to give it a Like, and some may even leave a comment. From your mobile to the world in less than two steps… And back to square one. Your photograph has been buried under dozens of people who -also- cry out for a few seconds of focus.
Are you able to remember any of the photographs you gave like this morning? Any authors? Did you really like them?
The edition of PHotoESPAÑA 2019 was inaugurated last May 7th with the speech of Alberto Anaut, director of La Fábrica. His words summed up the situation:
“Never have so many photos been taken and never have they left so little memory, because in these times of speed they are crowded without being able to enjoy them. So we vindicate the artistic criteria”.
Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat… Even Saint Google, they know what you like. And something you like 👍 is economically productive, because you are going to participate, attend and, more importantly, spend. That’s why it’s necessary to offer you what you like, in a more and more precise way.
Same announcements, same hashtags, even a tone suddenly unsaturated cup your timeline. Little by little, without you noticing it, everything seems the same, and what doesn’t seem to have the risk of being discarded and forgotten, buried under seas of content. Photography has been so damaged that it has been reduced to the most unexpected: The mere image; in an aesthetic sense, it has been stripped of meaning, of beauty, of detail, and devoured by the “era of Like“.
It is for this reason that the twenty-second edition of the festival will advocate photography based on criteria and, literally, not on algorithm, a way of splitting a spear in favour of creators who have decided to offer something more than aesthetics and defend that photography is something more than image. Among the 85 artists collaborating in this edition spread across 40 venues in eight cities throughout Spain, artists as varied as Susan Bright, William Klein or Donna Ferrato stand out.
PHotoESPAÑA’s intention is not the direct attack on amateur photography or social networks as such, but the vindication of a land that has been left vacant by the new form of consumption, largely due to technology and the conception that this makes us have of photography.
The constant dripping of graphic information that we receive is aimed only at attracting your attention, producing sweets within reach that prevent you from piercing beyond what you see, Anaut and the festival as a whole, has called for a halt on the road, to leave behind the “Maybe you also like” and start to leave a mark.