Over the last few years, Spain’s airports have gradually adopted new techniques, designs and technologies, which have turned them into avant-garde buildings. The Aena Contemporary Art Collection lives in airports, and has been infected by their innovative architecture and engineering. The Fundación Aena Photography Prize, originally an extraordinary award, was created in 2005 to mark the Foundation’s 10th anniversary, as a way of opening up its collection to include photography. The prize was awarded in 2007 and 2009, and from 2010 onwards became established as a regular, annual commitment to the sponsorship of photography as a fine art. As a result, the collection has been enriched by eighteen photographs –the three prize-winners of each year – by photographers such as Victoria Diehl, Paco Polán, Rosell Meseguer and Almalé/Bondía. Aena has also added other pieces to its art collection, including work by Alberto García-Alix, Chema Madoz, Chema Alvargonzalez, Santiago Sierra and Daniel Canogar.
This exhibition marks the project’s coming out, in that the whole collection of contemporary photography – usually on loan to airports around the country – will be on show to the public. The photographs reflect a range of artistic concerns, including the preservation of nature and culture, protests against social injustice, or meditations on dehumanised spaces. The highlights of the exhibition are two recently-acquired videoart pieces by José Manuel Ballester and Tim White-Sobiesky.