SOLO EXHIBITION - Joan Alvado
Driving through Serranía Celtiberica strikes you with the crisp air, astonishing landscape, and serenity of solitude. This is a portal to the forgotten side of al-Andalus and a different sense of traveling accompanied by flocks of sheep and shepherds. Serranía Celtiberica is a unique mountain range, covering an area of 65,489 km², which brings together 5 autonomous communities of Spain.
Despite this name - after its pre-Roman occupants - Serranía Celtiberica is better known as Spanish Lapland, due to the average population density of 7.98 inhabitants per km². While the severe depopulation of the area wons the uncoined title, many locals are not pleased with this reputation. Some are keen on restoring the prosperity priority to the Spanish civil war with futile mass tourism, some simply point out the inequalities between autonomous communities, and others form political parties that will look out for rural Spain.
With all that being said, The Last Man* on Earth is not meant to document the depopulated area nor a yearning for a simpler time and pastoral life. The exhibition narrates a dystopian, yet fantasy-like, perception of the Spanish Lapland and imagines future landscapes. Utilizing the eerie and grandiose architecture of the old convent, today’s Fundación Antonio Pérez Museum of Photography, the exhibition walks the viewer through the stages of abandonment and embodies the entire narrative through the town of Huete, which once was prosperous and now is a food desert. From another standpoint, this is a tribute to the dried rivers of the region - an appreciation of what they provided and what was lost along with them.
This exhibition is an invitation to this alternative post-apocalyptic scenario, one that speculates the sudden disappearances of people without making more damage.
Curation & Text by Zeren Oruc
Location: Museum of Photography, Antonio Pérez Foundation, Huete, Spain
Dates: 10.09 - 11.12.2022
Photo Credits: Zeren Oruc
*The title of the exhibition is not a curatorial choice. It is merely conveying how the photographer felt during his trips to Serranía Celtiberica.
**No trees were harmed for the exhibition.