The Road Not Taken
Galerie Sherin Najjar is proud to present the first solo presentation in Germany of the work of emerging artist Carlos Irijalba (*1979 in Pamplona, Spain).
The complex productions and interventions produced by this young Spanish photographer are both fascinating and provocative. Irijalbas works are leading into an entirely new area of cotemporary photography. At first, confronted by a concrete location, the viewer attempts to read Irijalba’s work as a documentary. However, the element of construction involved leads us to question its authenticity. Writing in his literary work The Society of Spectacle , the philosopher Guy Dubord sees the reinterpretation of reality through interventions in the public sphere as a method of calling the real
world into question via a surrogate. Real experienced life is increasingly being replaced by its representation, which in turn exercises an entirely real effect on our life.
In his series Twilight and Unwilling Spectator, Irijalba questions our understanding of the reality, and of the spectacle.
In Twilight, the artist uses light to arouse attention. This series consists of the displacing of a floodlighting tower for a football pitch, a space that is hyperdefined by and for spectacle. In order to take the attention away from the original place and transfer this tower to one of Europe’s last forests, Irati, in the north of Navarre, Irijalba questions the importance of light in the western culture for the creation of reality.
Distortion of an everyday environments is also the motif of his new series Unwilling Spectator. Visiting one of Chinas busiest crossroads, the Laiguangying junction of the 5th circular motorway in Beijing, he researched the artificiality of the surroundings and its architecture. Planting a small bonsai forest in the centre of the circular highway, the effect was to disrupt the established order of the location and call into question the collective construction of reality.
Carlos Irijalba exhibits in a number of galleries, museums and art fairs throughout the world. He is the winner of noumerous prizes and stipends and was awarded a scholarship from the renowned ISCP in New York City in 2009. In the same year, he completed an artist’s residency in Beijing. In 2004, he received the First Award for Young Artists and was awarded a Photography Scholarship from the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. Irijlaba gratuated in 1998 from the Pamplona School of Art and studied also at the University of Basque Country, where he obtained his Fine Arts degree.
He also studied at the Universität der Künste Berlin under the tuition of artist and professor Lothar Baumgarten.