Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid

MUSEO NACIONAL CENTRO DE ARTE REINA SOFIA MNCARS | Santa Isabel 52
28012 Madrid

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artists & participants

press release

Alberto García-Alix (León, 1956) is one of the most prominent photographers on the Spanish arts scene of recent decades, an artist who has expressed his life through portraits of the lives of others. The thirty-year career of García-Alix, winner of the National Photography Prize in 1999, constitutes a record of a fascinating period in Spain’s recent history. The social and cultural changes that have taken place since the 1980s are captured in his photography from an autobiographical perspective in diametric opposition to stereotypes. The MNCARS now dedicates an exhibition to this artist which stems from his first experiment in the audiovisual field – the video From Where There Is No Return, created specifically for the show. Coinciding with its premiere, the museum is exhibiting a wide selection of photographs in various formats from different periods that offer an overview of the artist’s career.

From Where There Is No Return is a journey through García-Alix’s past and present. The numerous photographs that comprise it were taken between 1976 and 2008, and many of them are now being exhibited for the first time. The exhibition’s arrangement in non-chronological sets is designed so that the visitor’s comprehension of the photographer’s universe will be gleaned from viewing the images as a united whole rather than from the individual photographs. The impressions formed while contemplating the works are combined with the first-person testimony of the artist, whose own voice narrates the audiovisual piece from which the exhibition takes its name and which constitutes the focal point of the show. The video is an exploration of García-Alix’s personal world through sequences recorded during various trips to China, where he decided to lose himself in order to tell his own story. The observer is drawn into a time warp to the artist’s past and a return to his present. García-Alix’s photographs delve into the lesser-known aspects of Madrid’s cultural upheaval in the 1980s while simultaneously portraying his most immediate surroundings – friends, prominent figures of the day, landscapes of his life. Today, his perfection of portraiture and composition has become a tool that he turns inward upon himself, one which reveals the artist’s evolution toward more abstract and poetic perspectives.

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Alberto Garcia-Alix
From Where There Is no Return

Kurator: Nicolas Combarro