JUAN CARLOS MARTÍNEZ. The Journey Continues. PHE 2019
13/06/2019 - 13/07/2019
... LOOK WITH IMPUDENCE AND TREACHERY (1). Frederic Montornés I say it without qualms: I was one of those who came in contact with Juan Carlos Martínez as a result of his flow of images published on his Facebook wall, back in 2016. And I must confess that if what caught me, at first , was the impudence of his gaze freezing the body of various youngsters in suggestive situations, my interest was drifting towards the way in which he fragmented them. The body of those guys, I mean. It is more: as I was observing them, it was no longer enough for me to consume the provocation that emanated from those figures of desire, but I needed to understand what was going on in the head of someone who, crouched, hidden, camouflaged or, perhaps, invisible, was engaged to scrutinize the world in that peculiar way. That is, without anyone seeing him. Not only them. It is said that the difference between looking and observing lies in the intention: one looks for the sense of sight but one observes when one pays attention to what one is looking at. So observing would be like examining carefully. Based on this obvious explanation it seems to me that the way in which Juan Carlos apprehends the world is typical of those who not only shoot photographs but, above all, of those who think, carefully, where they place their heads, eyes and hearts . Or, to be more precise, who observes the world through the peephole of a device confining to the realm of imagination what happens outside its limits and that only beats with a life of its own in the thinking of those who observe, analyze or read. As, for example, the photographs of Juan Carlos Martínez. Art is not only what it says (a work) but also what is left to say. Or what is the same: it is not only what we see but also what is not seen. Showing to a certain extent what belongs to the field of illusion and opening the door to reality so that our curiosity can penetrate, Juan Carlos Martínez manages to provoke in the viewer the desire to want to know more about his purpose as an artist, the way he makes his photographs or the circumstances in which these images are carried out. Because they do not seem what they are. Because they do not seem what we see. Before of a work that, like that of Juan Carlos, traps the spectator by the secrecy of a naturalness as disturbing as it is uninhibited, it is so difficult not to feel challenged or driven to imagine what kind of stories the artist tells us, what happens around him when he shoots a photograph, to what extent his images are spontaneous or planned, what is his own and unique in each of his frames or what is his ability to shoot at the right time. Based on questions that, as these, assail the observer willing to decompose their photographs attentively, we can suspect that what is behind this "artist that generates images" is a being whose artistic practice is closer to the work of a sociologist, an analyst or an observer than a mere amateur of beauty and youth. If writing is an inevitable act for the writer, so is a photographic practice for a photographer. It is, in both cases, activities that serve to think. Two activities that, to the extent that they trap knowledge, allow to air what shakes the writer or formalize what the artist observes. Juan Carlos Martínez has said on more than one occasion that what interests him, in truth, is to capture fugitive situations, realities that only exist at the moment they are seen. His work, consequently, would be like the safeguarding of an ephemeral universe linked to the interest of this artist for the functioning of the gaze and the way in which reality is shown before our eyes, that is, looking without being seen, observe without knowing, in short, in an elusive way. Based on this premise, Martínez outlined a series of scenes that, in the manner of imaginary worlds, are built on the basis of documentary testimonies, simulacra of life and controversies capable of placing everyday epics in their place that may go unnoticed or speak well , for example, of the roles of domination and submission in our society, of the distance that exists between what we see and what we imagine, of the distortion of our thought that we observe closely, of the limits that exist between intimacy and privacy, how fragile is the border between public and private ... of that file that (we all) we can build if we are aware that, almost always, we look at the same, we look in the same direction. As much as we change the context. As much as we go from one place to another. Because we are what we see. Both through slippery scenes and photos of insignificant appearance in which the absent is not only what is not seen but, above all, what displays a luminous awareness of reality, the work of Juan Carlos Martínez are documents of a file that expands in time and that, when combined with each other interconnecting images of different groups, shows the existence of the nuances that singularize it. With subtlety and sincerity. Not only with shame and treachery. __________ (1) "One of the greatest satisfactions of this work was to receive the feedback from the audience of the" Secret Photography Archive "that has witnessed a flow of images that shook them daily and invited in a forceful and imperative way to look with shame and treachery. They have sent it to me from many places and by all means, social networks have been the showcase, the support for its conformation ... "After the suspension points the interview they do to Juan Carlos Martínez ends in nº72 of the Exit magazine, dedicated to masculinity.