press release

Bruno Serralongue's photographs are those of a reader who chooses to go to the event site so as to check out the news story with his own eyes. From the series produced at the end of the 1990s to the most recent work, the photographer's trips have always been guided by the goal of illustrating a journalistic text.

In little over a decade Bruno Serralongue has accumulated a wide array of events. Parties, concerts, fairs, summits, forums, encounters, debates, and demonstrations have replaced the exercise of empirical proof that would move within local limits until taking on a global dimension. In series such as Encuentro, Chiapas (1996), Homage (1997), Free Tibet (1998), Korea (2001), WSF Mumbai 2004 (2004), La Otra (2006), or in other more recent ones such as those on the Tibetan diaspora (Tibet in Exile (Dharamsala), 2008) and the independence of Kosovo (Kosovo, 2009–in progress), long-lasting geopolitical conflicts are visualized, even though their complexity has stretched out so widely that it is impossible for them to fit into the strict frame of photography.

Thus, instead of defining itself as a photographic essay, Bruno Serralongue's work seeks out ways of articulating visual alternatives, quite apart from the narrative models of the news report.

In this way, slowly but surely, Bruno Serralongue's method and its repetition have expunged from his work the fascination of the scoop so central to photojournalism. The difference with this photographic genre—to which Bruno Serralongue's work is not considered an alternative—is the idea that direct contact with reality is not what brings information to life.

The traditional distinction between what happens in front of the lens, its capture on film, at its subsequent dissemination in the form of an image has been dissolved. These three separate moments today all exist in the single click. Post-media era photographers, such as Bruno Serralongue, must therefore interrogate themselves about the significance of this persistent desire to be in actual contact with the event. This desire could only compensate a deficient scheme by way of correction. Any diagnosis of what this hypothesis would be grounded upon supposes that the technological progress of our communicative regime places us in a teleological framework.

This is what the photographic practice of Bruno Serralongue sets out: to repeat the text—never mind interpret it—by means of the fabrication of an image that pulls back until its function is limited to an illustrative, simply denotative modality. In this sense, his photographs are cleared of any informational responsibility. The performative value of his photographic series will end up being much more eloquent than their iconic content.

—Carles Guerra Director of La Virreina, Center for the Image, Barcelona

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Bruno Serralongue