El Blanco
Ricardo Cases & Iván del Rey de la Torre (Spain)

In 2007 Ricardo Cases embarked on a trip across Mali in the company of a white man. Along the way he photographed everything that caught his attention and took portraits of his fellow traveller, a man from Seville whose primary activities were thinking and looking.

Years later, in 2015, he returned to the images and felt he was starting to connect with them. Some of them suggested ideas: the lack of legitimacy he felt as a photographer in talking about a place he experienced only in passing; the innocence in the gaze of the tourist who goes with the flow, stimulated by the journey’s serendipity and by the exoticism of a foreign culture and reality; how it can sometimes be appropriate to linger on the surface, in the realm of the imagined, on the outcome of an experience so specific that it could nearly be a dream…

That’s when he decided to structure the work around these premises and edit them in collaboration with Iván del Rey de la Torre, whose texts enter into a dance with the photographs, against that melody. The relationship thus established reveals how an image’s importance often lies not in its materiality, but rather in the tracing of it that we carry around forever in our mind. When we fabricate new images, they are nothing but projections of those tracings.

That was the genesis of El blanco, a story where an examination of the West’s representation of outlying territories leads us to question representation itself.

Ricardo Cases (Orihuela, 1971). His photographic work focuses on the yearnings of the human being: the deep and universal longings of the citizen of the mass society, fighting against banality in an effort to transcend, confronting his own dignity with a medium always untrustworthy. To this end, he turns his eye to expressions of contemporary folklore, looking for the truth of the Spaniard: a townsman who is forced to live in the city, in modernity. Beyond a pop appearance distant and cynical he is interested in what is human and anthropological. Beyond the social and documentary, he searches for the truthful and universal pulsations beating beneath the banal surface often kitsch and lacking glamour of contemporary Spain.

Iván del Rey de la Torre (Segovia, 1975). He has a BA in History of Art from Salamanca University and a Diploma in Advanced Studies of Film History from the UAM with the work El film de arte en España (Art Films in Spain), the result of a research grant in the Film Library of the Catalonian Generalitat. He teaches Theory of Art and Audiovisual Language at organizations such as the ECAM and Blank Paper Photography School. His texts have been published in different books, catalogues and photo-books. In the field of creation, he has generated several audiovisual pieces, presented at various festivals and showings, such as Documenta Madrid, Jihlava International Film Festival (Czech Republic), Videomix (La Casa Encendida, Madrid) and TVE’s Metropolis.