This stark, unusual series was selected as a series winner in the Open Category of the Magnum Photography Awards 2016. Discover more inspiring work from all 44 of the winners, finalists, jurors’ picks and student spotlights.

In the big circus that is politics today, photography and censorship have become allied to each other. They are used in concert in order to manipulate people, putting forward the image as a document, and relying on mass media to subtly but constantly mask those aspects that do not correspond to the claims of the parties. The final effect is a blurring and distorting of reality.

In my work, I focus in a different way on politics and its leaders. I try to use the camera as a means of decomposition. In doing so, it is possible to make photography censor censorship and thus, make a negative against the negative—offering something positive and a new perspective on politicians and their superficial status.

In the end, my work examines how the state the politicians defend so stubbornly vanishes by their actions: their images and all the paraphernalia that surround them are simply an ivory tower in which they believe they can live.

—Julián Barón García
Spain, November 2011