Xavier Ribas 'Sin título (Mesa picnic). Serie Domingos' 1994-1997

Sin título (Mesa picnic). Serie: "Domingos"

Untitled (Picnic Table). Series: "Sundays"

Tipo obra:
120 x 140 cm
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium
Registre núm:

Xavier Ribas (Barcelona, 1960), a Catalan photographer who is interested in urban anthropology and notions of public space and everyday life, has specialised in photographs that trace the habits of ordinary people living in today's cities. In Barcelona he has worked on several projects that explore the idea of the periphery.

The MACBA Collection has recently acquired several photographic series on Barcelona by Ribas, including Habitus, a series of 67 photographs taken in 2007 in six of the city's outlying areas: La Mina, Bellvitge, Can Serra, Ciutat Satèl·lit, Ciutat Meridiana and Badia del Vallès. Displayed in a kaleidoscopic installation, most of the photographs show the housing developments that were put up in the sixties and seventies to house the State's migrant labour force. As in other European cities, the specific types of buildings that were built, the lack of public spaces and services, and the non-existent urban planning defined the early years of these areas, which ended up becoming stigmatised. Gradually, the local communities have managed to make their demands for urban renewal heard by the relevant administrations.

Ribas borrowed the title, Habitus, from one of the key concepts developed by French sociologist Pierre Bordieu to describe the ways of thinking, living and feeling that are shaped through human socialisation. Although there is a sense of a lack human presence in the photographs by Ribas, and the few people that appear in them suggest a certain isolation, the project as a whole emphasises the appropriation of these neighbourhoods by the people who live in them. The underlying idea is that the real life of contemporary cities is no longer in the historic city centres, which have become theme parks for global tourism, but rather in the outskirts.

Domingos (1994-1998), is one of Ribas's best known series. It examines family leisure time in Barcelona's urban wastelands: picnics, games, relaxation, strolling, siestas and family gatherings in housing estates and sites that are yet to be developed. All of the images focus on spaces that have not been codified by urban logic, and have become enclaves of social creativity.

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