Digital pigment print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag Pearl
45 x 35 cm [17.7 x 13.7]
Edition of 30, signed and numbered.
About the work
Xavier Ribas’ edition for the Whitechapel Gallery is one of the photographs from his 2008 work Nomads (Part 1), which is exhibited at the Whitechapel Gallery as part of A Handful of Dust 7 June – 3 September 2017.
On the 24th of February 2004 corporate developers Necso-Acciona sent heavy machinery to an industrial plot that they owned in the city of Barcelona, which was being occupied by some sixty Gypsy families. Over a few days two diggers drilled and lifted up the concrete floor of the site intimidating the Gypsies and finally pushing them out, leaving behind a contorted surface, like a horizontal wall, to protect the site and keep it empty. This method of dissuasion demonstrates the economic value of violence and destruction, even of one’s own property, in order to control space.
The edition entitled Concrete Geographies (Nomads) Nr2, 2008/2017 magnifies a detail of this broken ground. The fissures and fragments of concrete slabs standing up like remnants of ancient Maya stelae carvings give testimony still today of this displacement.
About the artist
Xavier Ribas is a photographer, lecturer at the University of Brighton, and associate lecturer at the Universitat Politècnica de València. He studied Social Anthropology at the University of Barcelona and Documentary Photography at the Newport School of Art and Design. His photographic work investigates contested sites and histories, and geographies of abandonment. His recent works take the form of large photographic grids, often including text, archive materials and moving image as multiple, composite forms of examining temporary settlements, sites of corporate development and exclusion, border territories, and geographies of extraction.
Ribas has been involved in many international exhibitions including the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (MNCARS), the Stedelijk Museum, the Bluecoat Liverpool, Belfast Exposed, Aperture Gallery, George Eastman House, Le Bal, Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Centro Huarte de Arte Contemporáneo and the Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo (CA2M). He has received awards, commissions and fellowships from the Arts and Humanities Research Council - AHRC (2012-2016), the International Photography Research Network - IPRN (2006), Fundación Telefónica (2005), and Commande Publique du Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication, Centre National des Arts Plastiques (2006), among others. Ribas has also collaborated on research, exhibition and publication projects with the Universidad de Salamanca (1998, 2000, 2009), Universitat Politècnica de València (2008), Université de Toulouse II-Le Mirail (2007-2008), Universiteit Leiden (2006), UNIACC Santiago (2010), and Universidad de Navarra (2009, 2014-2015).
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