Where water comes together with other water
I was born in Quito and for the last 17 years I’ve lived in Barcelona. I consider it my home. I’ve seen people from all places passing through, I have friends from here and from opposite corners. Some left and came back, and others may not come back again.
Barcelona, as all cities, has as many hopes, memories, and stories as people that have lived or visited it. Those places where millions of experiences cross and branch out are full of contradictions, fears and wishes. Without trying to comprise what its memories and corners agglomerate, “Where water comes together with other water” Is an essay through some of its inhabitants and city fragments.
I portrayed people around me and from different origins. I went out to depict the city avoiding postcard pictures. In their faces I looked for silence, that silence from a itness that can’t stop being influenced by the events, the landscape, the sounds and smells, and even the history predating their memory. This forced silence ends up exploding through their gaze. A kind of mantle impregnated with city scenes, falls through their skin and turns into a riddle that fuses with their own semblance. Independently from these inhabitants’ place of origin or final destination, the shared stage of daily chores gathers them, it is the same city where they recognize themselves.
While I worked on these images, a young man in a van intentionally invaded the pedestrian area in the heart of the town. Fourteen people died and tens of people were injured. Terrorist attacks, so feared in other European cities, arrived in Barcelona. Few weeks later, the years long latent conflict between Catalonia and Spain exploded. The silences, the looks and the trails of the city on people’s skin, took on special meaning.
“…Can anything be more wonderful than a spring?
But the big streams have my heart too.
And the places streams flow into rivers.
The open mouths of rivers where they join the sea.
The places where water comes together
with other water. Those places stand out
in my mind like holy places.
But these coastal rivers!…”
Fragment of “Where water comes together with other water” by Raymond Carver, which inspires the title of this project.