Where the Maps Fold

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RM Verlag / Phree, 2021. First edition.
Softcover, 126 pp., illustrated throughout, 240 x 330 mm. Photographs by Juan Valbuena. Text by Juan Valbuena, Sandra Maunac, Fraçois Cheval, Alfonso Armada (English). Design by Rifle.

Winner Best Spanish Photobook, Photo España 2021

A sailor at heart, Juan Valbuena (b. 1973 in Madrid, Spain) is fascinated by tales. In this book he embarks on a voyage, leading us through each one of his works, toward the stories to be found in the interstices, in the crevices of territories without images, where he brings to light experiences hitherto rendered invisible, all but impossible to photograph, and condemned to silence. All of his projects, from Noray, Un lugar de la Mancha, Salitre, and Ojos que no ven, corazón que no siente, to Dalind, his most recent work still in progress, require time to complete, through years of development, just as they demand an effort on the part of those who view them. They demand a commitment on our part not to be mere spectators, but also interpreters of a present or a past.

Valbuena’s photography is made to be experienced, constantly seeking, as it does, to solve a riddle or to reveal a secret. To open the map charted by Juan Valbuena is to glimpse a door to dialogue, a conversation with others, with our fellow human beings: it is an invitation to greater solidarity.


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