Alberto GARCIA-ALIX, Miguel Angel Felipe (text)


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"'Valparaiso' is a photographic essay which was carried out between the 13th of July and the 2nd of August 2015, duringa residency for the International Festival of Photography in Valparaiso." (publisher's note, © Andre Frere, 2016)

"We have long heard that New York and Paris were the most photographed cities in the world. This is undoubtedly true, it was, anyway. We quickly deduced that they were the most photogenic. It is not certain. Now the city, every town, from the largest to the smallest, are both a concern and a revelator of contemporary societies; a reservoir in images that seems endless.
Multiplying the cartes blanches to international photographers coming to dialogue with Chilean authors, Valparaíso, through its International Photography Festival, will quickly catch up with any delay. The port saw Sergio LARRAIN produce one of the most poetic and disturbing documentary work of the last century, and generates visions that enrich our marine imaginary and nuance our understanding of the city.
Coming from the South like Alberto GARCIA-ALIX and its square photographs, or from the North, like Anders PETERSEN, favoring the rectangle and perceiving the local language in an abstract way, the major photographers confirm one thing: this city is a pretext, a pretext for photography. They both experienced Valparaíso, walked the same walks, but there’s no way we can make any confusion: their positions, their aesthetic choices remains unique.
Although they share a similar affection for the people, life, animals, signs, discovery, they are irreducibly different. But they have one thing in common: photography.” (© Christian Caujolle, in: Festival Images Singulières)

About the photographer, Alberto GARCIA-ALIX (*b. 1856 in León, Spain):
His work has reached different countries and has been praised by publications such as Vogue, British Journal of Photography or Vanity Fair.
A motorcycle and portrait lover, his Leica and Hasselblad cameras have immortalized important national and international artists. He has always been inspired by bikes, tattoos, music and the night.
He defines his portraits as a confrontation with his own model. GARCIA-ALIX is one of the leading figures of the movement known as La Movida Madrileña leaving behind well-known and powerful images of this cultural movement's youth. Among its members are some of his friends, who subsequently have become renowned personalities in different fields: Pedro Almodóvar, Rossy de Palma, Emma Suárez, Camarón de la Isla and many others. Often violently shameless, his works are recurrently raw and naked portraits. They are often considered to be overreactions but their expressive power and graphic effectiveness is undeniable.

GARCIA-ALIX has devoted his entire career to black and white photography as personal and social documentation. Since his long stays in France and China in 2007 and 2008, he has been experimenting with video by documenting his images accompanied by his own texts and voice. An example of his video-art was showcased at it his exhibition De donde no se vuelve (2008) at the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid.

Awards and recognition:
Spanish National Photography Award 1999 (Premio Nacional de Fotografía)
Especial Guest for El País Newspaper at the Contemporary Art Fair in Madrid (ARCO)
Shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2014 for his book Autorretrato/Self-Portrait, La Fabrica Editorial (2013)

French text:
"On a longtemps dit que New York et Paris étaient les villes les plus photographiées au monde. C’est sans doute vrai, cela l’a été, en tout cas. On en a vite déduit qu’elles étaient les plus photogéniques. Ce n’est pas certain. Désormais, la ville, toutes les villes, de la plus grande à la plus petite sont à la fois une préoccupation – et un révélateur – des sociétés contemporaines et un réservoir à images qui semble sans fin.
En multipliant les cartes blanches à des photographes internationaux qui viennent dialoguer avec les auteurs chiliens, Valparaíso grâce à son Festival International de Photographie, va vite rattraper son éventuel retard. Le port qui vit Sergio Larrain produire une des oeuvres poétiques et documentaires les plus troublantes du siècle dernier génère des visions qui enrichissent notre imaginaire marin et nuance notre appréhension de la ville.
Qu’il vienne du Sud et soit hispanophone comme Alberto Garcia Alix qui cultive le carré ou qu’il débarque du Nord, privilégie le rectangle et ne comprenne rien à ce que disent les habitants comme Anders Petersen, deux photographes majeurs confirment une chose : cette ville est prétexte, prétexte à photographie. Ils ont tous deux fait l’expérience de Valparaíso, ont arpenté la même ville, mais rien à faire, on ne peut confondre leurs regards, leurs prises de position, leurs choix esthétiques.
Même s’ils partagent une tendresse comparable pour les gens, la vie, les animaux, les signes, la découverte, ils sont irréductiblement différents. Mais, ils ont en commun la photographie." (© Christian Caujolle, Pour le Festival Images Singulières)

"Die Arbeiten des Fotoessays 'Valparaiso' von Alberto GARCIA-ALIX sind zwischen dem 13. Juli und dem 2. August 2015 entstanden, während eines Aufenthalts für das Internationale Festival der Fotografie in Valparaiso.
Im Rahmen dieses Festivals erschien 2014 beim gleichen Verlag bereits ein gleichnamiger Band von Anders PETERSEN." (© Richard G. SPORLEDER)