After devoting magnificent retrospectives to masters of all time, from Paul Strand to Bleda and Rosa, as every autumn, the KBr Fundación MAPFRE photography center focuses on young talents emerging from four institutions committed to teaching and photographic studies in Barcelona : Grisart, Idep Barcelona, ​​the Institut d’Estudis Fotogràfics de Catalunya (IEFC) and Elisava, Faculty of Design and Engineering of Barcelona.

With the intention of offering visibility and opportunities to these new generations of photographers, the idea of ​​an annual exhibition called KBr Flama was born, which is now celebrating its second edition, with works by Nanouch Congost (Gerona, 1999), Guillermo Fernández (Granada, 1991 ), Jordi Miquel Riera (Gerona, 1977) and Sílvia Parés (Vic, 1997), selected through a meticulous viewing process by a jury of experts.

The four projects of KBr Flama’22 offer diverse views, ranging from exploring the closest environment of these creators, whether geographical or intimate, to investigations into the manipulation of time and its unfolding, or investigations into the relationship between sound and image.

KBr accompanies the exhibition, which can be visited from October 5 to January 15, 2023, with the publication of four books dedicated to each of the projects created by these photographers.

Nanouch Congost signs the “dad” project, in which he delves us into parent-child relationships, based on the figure of the absent father. This photographer trained at the Escola d’Art Superior de Disseny d’Olot and at Grisart, she interviews and portrays a series of people whom she invites to evoke her childhood and to review her current relationships with her father.

Congost notes that virtually any parent-child relationship almost inevitably goes through three phases: idealization, disappointment, and acceptance. And also that what we do not like about our parents, or what we consider a “problem” in the relationship with them, is often something that we have incorporated into our personality. “Are we the reflection of what we see in others?” ends up wondering this artist.

Guillermo Fernández, a graduate in Fine Arts from the University of Granada and a master’s degree in Photography and Design from Elisava with a strong interest in images with a social charge, focuses his gaze on the contemporary reality of the province of Granada, the current “kingdom” of Marijuana, with a sequence of nocturnal photographs entitled Los santos inocentes, which draws interesting parallels between the present and the ferocious portrait of “Deep Spain” signed by Miguel Delibes.

As Fernández himself explains, the city of the Alhambra is today one of the cities that attracts the most visitors, but also one of the hardest hit by the effects of the economic crisis that arose in 2008, and which especially hit a young population that forms part of a “lost generation”, forced “to make a living behind the back of the system.”

The project shows the passage from night to day in a depressed rural area near Granada, in a journey that begins with a series of night landscapes of old olive groves, paths and farmhouses illuminated by artificial light that marks the path to follow and culminates at dawn, when the sunlight illuminates a reality that remained hidden during the night.

For his part, Jordi Miquel Riera proposes a reflection on the borders between the senses and the capacity of photographic expression to suggest a universe of sound. Modus imaginis (an expression that means “the tone of the image” in Latin) articulates relationships between sight and hearing and shows images that capture visual and sound moments. The objective is, as the author himself explains, “to create a kind of synesthesia” that captures what in theory cannot be represented, paying special attention to the original sounds, such as those produced by water or wind.

At the same time, this IEFC graduate also develops the reverse process: transmitting a sound, starting only from an image. His desire to investigate “the physical dimension of sound” and “the transformation of sonority into matter” is reflected in a series of beautiful and enigmatic images, often in dark tones that suggest organic and also auditory textures.

Finally, Sílvia Parés presents a long and fascinating investigation on the manipulation of weather and the so-called chemtrails (the chemtrails released by aircraft engines) based on supposed climate geoengineering conspiracy theories.

Parés, a graduate in Photography and Audiovisual Media at Idep Barcelona who is doing a postgraduate course in Applied Illustration at the same institution, reorganizes endless material “to decrypt and reimagine the phenomenon of climate manipulation through various formats.” Historical facts and information are thus confronted with “the visual and conceptual universe that orbits in conspiracy theories.”

Owning the Weather proposes a mental space, combining image, text and generative art, which projects new imaginaries far from the apocalyptic narrative that we usually find in the media. As Parés says, it is about “exploring the past, thinking about the present and imagining the future of our skies”.

With this exhibition, KBr Flama’22 confirms the variety of registers, themes and styles that these new talents turn to to reflect, through photography, interests and concerns of contemporary society, from intimate history, social inequalities or the future of the planet to almost abstract reflections about perception.