Activities, exhibitions and projectsback
Dioses de la Frontera. Clara CarvajalCASA ÁRABE | Madrid
Image: Clara Carvajal, Souvenir, 2019
Clara Carvajal delves in deep into Lebanon’s visual memory through the archives of three important photography collections. During the first quarter of 2019 her research included the Arab Image Foundation, the archives of the newspaper An-Nahar and the collection of the photographer Emile Boulos Divers. The project, rather than focusing on major themes like the war and historical events in Lebanon, attempts to explore the way in which the country’s society has been portrayed since it gained independence from France in the 1940’s, and up to the time when the civil war broke out in 1975.
The photographic images that have been selected contain portraits of individuals and may be examined through a symbolic lens based on the social archetypes they represent at a historical moment within the country’s society. Through these images, Clara Carvajal has created a collection of wood engravings that she uses to delve deeper into her iconography, along with a publication that describes the key parts of the process she has sought to follow. She thus reveals what the images show beyond their own formalism. This publication was created with the cooperation of Teo Millán, in terms of authoring the texts, and Clara Sancho, who created the design and layout.
Each of these images is the object-subject on which an analysis of the imaginary of the country’s collective identity is based. Individuals who take on revealing poses in the photographer’s presence, whose intentionality both consciously and unconsciously bears witness to the world which they inhabit, in the way that they interpret it: the happy girl surrounded by her family, the sensual couple in love strolling by the sea, the male body as a divine icon, the father proud of his child, the savior, the caregiver, and so on.