The best plan to have when visiting a city that is almost too popular and has been photographed a couple billion times is to leave your guide books at home. That is as true for Paris as it is for the area around the Parc Güell, Barcelona. Allowing you to get lost gives you the right amount of freedom, a curiosity to discover beauty in places that aren’t on your map and to dive right into local oddities. Especially from a photography point of view, that is what makes traveling so compelling and unpredictable.
While this is a collection of photos from all corners of the Barcelona – most of whom I found by accident -, I want to draw the attention to two exhibitions that I managed to visit despite the heat on the streets and the resulting urge to spend every spare second on the beach. The art gallery Arts Santa Monica is just off the city’s main shopping street La Rambla and always has a wide range of different photo exhibitions. The one I chose was called From Here On – Post-Photography in the Age of the Internet and the Mobile Telephone and although experimental art is always worthwhile and exciting, I found the installation rather depressing. Pieces were based on Google Map images, on TV shows and all the digital buzz that takes away the experimental energy and turns it into something really superficial and futuristic. Hey photography, please don’t ever becomes a medium whose content comes from cyberspace and digital sources only. Thanks.
The other, slightly more enjoyable exhibition was a cosy show by the very talented Silvia Conde who took some photos at flea markets in Berlin last summer. You can take a look at the brilliant and quirky photos here. The exhibition was in front a huge co-working space and had a bunch of creatives as background asset. So – photography is only the beginning of something that can only be crazily exciting.