The Dialogue of the Dogs
The Dialogue of the Dogs is a documentary project that depicts a journey across the cultural landscape of central Spain. Starting at the final resting places of Miguel de Cervantes and Diego Velázquez in Madrid, the photographs depict poignant locations relevant to Spain today, such as; unoccupied newly built towns; the deserted airport of Ciudad Real; the former site of Expo ‘92 in Seville; and the imposing Valle de los Caídos. Throughout, there is a sense of a history that always murmurs beneath the surface; images allude to wealth, failure, loss, fallibility and misperception.
This work depicts a quixotic search for something that never quite reveals itself; a Spanish landscape reconciled with its history. Cervantes and Velázquez were both fascinated by shifting perspectives, illusion and the hierarchy of power. In this pseudo-documentary narrative, these historical Spanish figures finding a voice in the present day landscape of La Mancha.
The work acknowledges the problematics of documentary; it does not seek to create an authoritative portrait of a place. Rather, it weaves a tall story full of plot-holes and inconsistencies; for places are built on subjective memories and contested histories as much they are on geographic certainties. This study is as much about how representations of place are constructed, and how fiction impinges on documentary realism.