Cordoba (WE 46.1). Sèrie: "Welcome to Espaiñ", 2008

Cordoba (WE 46.1). Series: "Welcome to Espaiñ", 2008
Photograph, 106.6 x 80 cm

Jordi Bernadó has practiced travel photography featuring urban and rural landscapes, somewhat in line with the pictorialist movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. While in other series his camera focuses on the places and ways of life of the United States, Japan and Europe, the subject of Welcome to Espaiñ is the Iberian Peninsula, from north to south, including San Sebastián, Córdoba, Illescas and Barcelona. In abandoned spaces and container depots, on the sides of the road or wherever urban spaces end, we are struck by the absence of the human figure and the presence of some form of writing or words, such as signs, graffiti or advertisements. Thus, we read Glamour, American Show or Welcome to Espaiñ, the latter being a graffito written on a green container seen by Bernadó in Barcelona and which provides the title for the series. These are the photographer’s habitual semantic resources. The fact of taking this phrase as a title, with the typographical error that compounds ‘España’ and ‘Spain’, points to a declaration of intent on the somewhat humorous and ironic nature of the series and its message about the globalised world.

Welcome to Espaiñ foregrounds and frontally presents anodyne constructions and buildings that are supposedly closed and abandoned. Bernadó uses a classic format, with a central perspective and a defined horizon, a distanced subject, and a framing that takes in the whole scene and a neutral point of view. While this appears aseptic and close to documentary photography, the photographer reveals a playful, ironic and perverse gaze. On a wall against which car tyres have been dumped, the word ‘Glamour’ appears in large letters; on a ruined wall we read ‘El future está aquí’ (The future is here). Don Quixote and Sancho, bullfighters and guitars, penitents with their hoods, semi-deserted landscapes... many of the subjects of Spanish culture are revisited in a contemporary style.

In addition to cultural references, behind the apparent documentary truth lies a reflection on the photographic image as a maker of hidden lies. As in the other series by this photographer, the framing of images turns reality into a theatrical scene.

Technical details

Original title:
Cordoba (WE 46.1). Sèrie: "Welcome to Espaiñ"
Registration number:
Bernadó, Jordi
Date created:
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. Government of Catalonia long-term loan
Object type:
Inkjet print on paper
106.6 x 80 cm (height x width)
Edition number:
Ed. 1/5
MACBA Collection. Government of Catalonia long-term loan. National Collection of Photography
© Jordi Bernadó
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