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#123 This is You
#143 This is You [Here], Pigment print on gampi paper and gold leaf
#147 This is You [Here], Pigment print on gampi paper and gold leaf
#50 This is You
#138, This is You [HERE]
#106, This is You [HERE]
#139, This is You [HERE]
#160, This is You [HERE]

"When we look at a photograph related to our experiences, our intangible and unreliable memories surrender to the printed image. The concrete photographs replace our abstract memories and our identity is certified by that set of photographs.

Some time ago, a friend gave us some negatives and old postcards he had found inside a picture wallet in the trash. After scanning the negatives, we found they were family portraits taken about 40 years ago by an amateur photographer. All shared a common feature: they were underexposed, so it was really hard to recognize the people pictured. Those moments, that formed part of the photographer's identity, could also be ours. So, we decided to use our own photographs along with the anonymous ones, unifying all of them using the same printing process and thus, generating the identity and memories of someone who never existed.

The portfolio ”This is you” has been growing over time. Creating this fictitious family has helped us to go deeper into the concept of identity and as a result, we have become interested in the relation between place and identity. This new exploration has taken the form of This is you here."

"... If we are something, we are our past, aren’t we? Our past is not what can be recorded in a biography or in the newspapers. Our past is our memory. That memory can be hidden or inaccurate—it doesn’t matter. It’s there, isn’t it? It can be a lie but that lie becomes part of our memory, part of us."

- Jorge Luis Borges.

Biography

Angel Albarrán (b.1969, Barcelona) and Anna Cabrera (b. 1969, Sevilla) have worked collaboratively as art photographers for over 17 years. A rich inner philosophy about memory and experience — and an alchemical curiosity for photographic printmaking — guide their aesthetic practice. Particularly influenced by Japanese thinkers and artists like Junichiro Tanizaki and Kansuke Yamamoto, their photographs question our assumptions of time, place and identity in order to stimulate a new understanding of one’s own experience and perception. For the artists, “being conscious of our surroundings isn’t just an important part of life —our surroundings and how we interpret them is life as we know it.”

Angel Albarrán’s love for photography was inspired by his grandfather. A carpenter by trade, Albarrán’s grandfather created cameras for the photographers in his province before taking up the art himself. Anna Cabrera found her passion at age 16 when her father lent her his Voigtländer camera to take on an academic trip to Paris. Since beginning their collaboration, the artists have attended workshops, learning from such masters as Humberto Rivas and Toni Catany. They have deepened their personal beliefs through through the world of literature, and through extensive travels in East Asia and Western Europe.

While inspired by literature, painting, film, and philosophy, Albarrán Cabrera specifically employ the medium of photography to convey their worldview:

Viewers interpret photographs subjectively by relating them to culture, experience and memory. This means that as photographers, we can explain complex subject matter, or the relationship between various subjects, without using verbal language and its linguistic code. Instead, we use images and prints. We feel that photography can help viewers understand challenging concepts in a different way. A set of images creates a harmony between the viewers’ wavelength and our own.

There is a gap between reality and what we understand as real. And photography (as Japanese dramatist Chikamatsu once said about art) lies in the frontier between the real and unreal, the true and the false. So it helps us to “see” what is hidden from us.

Albarrán Cabrera tirelessly experiment with a diverse range of printing processes such as platinum, palladium, cyanotype, and gelatin silver print. While often toning their darkroom prints with selenium, sepia, or tea, the artists also invent their own methods to add tonal depth to their artworks. The artists use hand-made gampi paper and gold leaf for their pigment prints that emit a radiance akin to Japanese silk painting.

Nailya Alexander Gallery is Albarrán Cabrera’s first gallery representation in the United States. Their photographs have been exhibited in galleries and photo fairs in Spain, Japan, Switzerland, The Netherlands, France, Germany, Lebanon, and Italy. Private collections and institutions that house their photographs include Hermès, Goetz Collection, Banco de Santander, Fundación de Ferrocarriles Españoles, among others. They have also produced photographic prints for institutions such as Fundació La Pedrera, Barcelona; Fundació Toni Catany, Mallorca; Reina Sofía Museum, Madrid; the Photographic Archive, Barcelona.

Selected Exhibitions

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2018
Albarrán Cabrera —L'Indistruttible, Galleria de' Foscherari, Bologna, Italy
Remembering the Future, Bildhalle Gallery, Zürich, Switzerland

2016
The mouth of Krishna, This is you, Kairos, Unseen 2016, The Netherlands
Why all the time, Galeria Valid Foto, Barcelona, Spain
This is you, Kochuten Gallery, Japan

2015
The Mouth of Krishna, This is you, Unseen 2015, The Netherlands
The Mouth of Krishna, Photomed Festival, Lebanon
The Mouth of Krishna, Kochuten Gallery, Japan

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2019
Someone lived this, Esther Woerdehoff Gallery, Paris, France

2017
Explorations — New Positions in Photography and Photorealism, Michenko Gallery, Munich, Germany

2014
This is You (I Have Photos Therefore I am), NYC United Photo Industries Gallery, NYC, USA
This is You (I Have Photos Therefore I am), Tokyo Institute of Photography, Tokyo, Japan

2013
Secret Places and Small Details, Galeria Valid Foto, Barcelona, Spain
Collect the World, Galeria Vaid Foto, Barcelona, Spain

2010
ARTtrust Space, Village des Rencontre d’Arles, Parc des Ateliers, Arles, France
O.F.N.I Project, Galeria Valid Foto, Barcelona, Spain

2004
Fundación de Ferrocarriles Españoles, Itinerant Exhibition in Spain