Nothing could be further from my work than attempting to provide a description. This collection dips into an almost dreamlike ideology, touching on the impalpable and the indefinable.
With my photographs in the series “Lines,” I aim to expose the conceptual content in my work, but I hope that it will ultimately be the observer who will fill in the missing elements of the photographic story.
When I started this project, I asked myself whether it would be possible to shoot one or more portraits in which no specific face would exist—images that didn’t even revealing the idea of a face. I asked myself where identity lies—and where anonymity resides. Could I photograph individuals without substance?
The answer to these questions arose from the street itself. The setting was chosen with meticulous intention: a place through which beings pass, leaving only their essence—their aroma almost—in the suggestive delicacy of a line traced by the light.
I’ll go back to the start again: nothing could be more counter to this work than providing a description. I did not consider it necessary to put a face to each shadow, because I felt that it was enough knowing that somebody was, or had been, there. A man without identity. Almost like a Borgesian game in which the universal becomes an essential element in ensuring that all the models in a sequence merge together; a sole being who quickly departs, leaving the certainty of his/her persona for later, like a mere promise.
Just as fire, with its ever-changing shapes, is still the same element, we all become creatures who are capable of retaining an air of the “unknown.” In this way, it is much like the concept of a photograph: a fleeting instant converted to the value of silence.
—Oriol Llauradó Ballesta
If you liked this series, we’d also recommend these previous articles: Life in the City, a sneak peek at Michael Wolf’s major retrospective at Les Rencontres d’Arles; That Moment, a project created with inspiration from Henri Cartier-Bresson and Alex Webb; and Color (Street) Work, a striking street series that reminds us that hope—and a great shot—can appear at any moment.