Selected as one of the Best Books of 2020 by Gabriela Cendoya
Galerna is a long-running photography project in which Jon Cazenave, born in San Sebastián (Spain) in 1978, questions his identity and his territorial belonging. Beyond documenting a place, this extensive photographic journey leads him to the discovery of his deepest being.
His early pictures are marked by the political situation in his homeland, but soon enough another urge arises: the need to discover the spirit of his region and his origins. He slowly drifts away from the documentary approach towards a more essential photographic language, devoting himself to his surroundings: the mountains, the woodlands, the sea and its fishermen, the Basque culture and its rituals; also, the wildlife and, more recently, the caves that it merges with. Thus are born his black, pure, direct images, carved out of matter. Jon Cazenave makes an incision in the landscape, his own landscape.
After over a decade of passionate, uncompromising photography, he senses a different direction and shakes off his insatiable thirst for black. Colour offers a new answer to his search, putting an end to his long journey through the emptiness of the universe and opening the door to new forms of creation.
As simple as it is conclusive, this book manages, through editing, to evoke the physical and emotional experience of a journey, first to the origins and then to the place from which the photographer perceives freedom. This volume includes an essay by the writer Kirmen Uribe that examines the linguistic foundations of the Basque, as well as its ethnographic and anthropological resonances. The text by Fannie Escoulen, curator, allows us to understand Jon Cazenave's photographic search.