A dark place, full of people with different motivations, groping along the way, waiting for signs, waiting for events, waiting for the inexplicable to happen. Meeting spaces in the half-light, places of observation and meditation that in each person present evoke intimate desires and intuitions more or less transcendent and profound. Where an individual’s particular beliefs emerge and project unique empirical realities. “A dark place” moves through locations where several groups of people meet with the desire to say that, in one way or another, they are part of a wider, unknown reality that transcends our visible physical world. These collective manifestations question precisely what is not visible: intense glances crisscrossing in semi-dark places or eyes closed in places of worship, trying to bring forth this piece of a hidden world from the folds of one’s own visible reality.
The backdrop of this project are the mountains of Montserrat. Located at the centre of the geography of Catalonia, they are a location for mass tourism and leisure at the same time, as well as a sacred place full of mysticism endowed with rich and ancient mythology. Montserrat has been a unique place throughout its history, both for its morphology and for its ability to draw different groups of people with very different interests, but who often have a common denominator: the need, or desire, to believe. “A dark place” has focused mainly on meetings of Ufologists and fans of extraterrestrial phenomena that take place in Montserrat on the eleventh day of each month. These meetings take place in an open area next to the road leading to the monastery. They begin at sunset and for more than 30 years have almost always been officiated by Luís José Grífol, who claims to have had extraterrestrial contact. These meetings where community, ambiguity, suggestion and interference are powerfully present also provide insight into the mechanisms that trigger the generation of myths, cults and consequently faith. Any group brought together by a common belief, whether it be religious, esoteric or of some other type, is fuelled mostly by all these concepts to maintain its high level of cohesion and strengthen its particular stories in search of new followers.
On a technical level, this project chose to use infrared analogue film just to emphasise that the photographic series skirts by the limit of visible reality. The use of this technique has also made it possible to work in absolute darkness without having to illuminate the scenes with visible light. The bulk of the photographs in the series have therefore literally been made in a completely dark place, blindly framed and revealed via traditional methodology. This workflow has given rise to a certain degree of experimentation and imprecision that has given rise to the appearance of accidents, imperfections and new indications accompanying the images. The randomness of the compositions, the excessive graininess of the photographs and the accidents in the scanning, have been integrated into the final result, thereby creating new interferences that change our reading of the photographs. Through these new layers of inaccurate information, the skies in the images are filled with artefacts and an influx of light, dust and scratches that momentarily confuse the viewer by mixing with the stars of the sky of Montserrat.
(Work in progress)