Beginning the Construction of a Bridge for a High-speed Railway linking Barcelona and Madrid. Sèrie: "Connexions globals", 2007

Several works in the series Global Connections of David Goldblatt include a short explanatory text in the label. The text for this image is:

"The average travel-time for passengers will be 2 hours and 38 minutes. This is also the point at which the diversion of Llobregat River into its new course takes place."

David Goldblatt

As part of a photographic study on Barcelona that was carried out during 2007 and 2008, in which MACBA commissioned new work from several renowned photographers, David Goldblatt focused specifically on the area of the Llobregat river, with its many road networks, industrial estates, and the airport site. The result is a set of photographs entitled Global Connections, which was part of the group show Metropolitan Images of the New Barcelona, within the exhibition Universal Archive. The Condition of the Document and the Modern Photographic Utopia at MACBA in 2008. Along with David Goldblatt, photographers such as Ahlam Shibli, Marc Pataut and Allan Sekula documented various aspects of changing relationships between the economy, forms of labour and social networks in Barcelona, as part of this initiative of the MACBA Independent Studies Program (PEI).

Goldblatt’s photographs show the control tower and the construction of the new terminal at the airport, the nearby Logistic Activities Zone (ZAL), and the construction work on the new high speed train (Barcelona-Madrid TGV) and on the southern breakwater at the city’s port. Goldblatt documents the industrial and communications infrastructures, but also the human habits that coexist in these contexts of urban transformation: agricultural workers at El Prat who trade their products at Mercabarna, Barcelona’s central market; La Ricarda beach and the Sant Cosme neighbourhood; European truck drivers in the industrial estates at the ZAL; people watching planes fly in at the Mirador del Prat; the queues waiting to take a taxi at the port cruise terminal; prostitution on the motorway from Castelldefels to Gavà; window cleaners at Hotel Hesperia in l’Hospitalet; and the falconers who help to drive off the birds in the airport area.

As in his many of his previous works, Goldblatt shows human interventions in the landscape, architectural structures and constructions, but also the political decisions and ideological frameworks that bring them into existence.

Technical details

Original title:
Beginning the Construction of a Bridge for a High-speed Railway linking Barcelona and Madrid. Sèrie: "Connexions globals"
Registration number:
Goldblatt, David
Date created:
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium
Object type:
Inkjet print on paper
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium. Gift of the artist
© David Goldblatt
It has accessibility resources:

The MACBA Collection features Catalan, Spanish and international art and, although it includes works from the 1920s onwards, its primary focus is on the period between the 1960s and the present.

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The problem becomes clear, crystal clear: the artist’s canvas becomes a mirror.
Michelangelo Pistoletto