High Voltage

Regular price €38,00
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Self Published, 2022. Edition of 300 copies.
56 playing cards with instructions in box, 56 illustrations, 80 x 120 mm. Photographs by Mara Catalan. Illustration by Ott Piibeman. Text by Mara Catalan, Annuska Angulo (English). Design by Lucía Pellufo.


"We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are." Anaïs Nin

Isn’t it all a game? Gods play around, and the ancient Greeks knew this: we are their puppets, and they are having a good time playing with us, shuffling us around from one place to the other, playing us against each other, making us fall in love, keeping us from reaching home. Every-body plays games: human beings, dogs, cats, horses, dolphins, birds. All seems to be playing around in a game we don’t understand completely, but we can know intuitively. Watching close enough, long enough, even clouds, bodies of water, mountains, moons, planets, and stars play with each other in a choreography of rhythms and balances, of movement and stillness, of explosions and quietness. Your turn, my turn. And then, there are solitaire games. Infinite possibilities, entanglements: games let us discover who we are and who we’d like to be. (Remember how we used to play gin and poker when we met? That’s how we learn each other’s strategies, our ways of being in the world. Playing we created our own world, sheltered from any danger in the flow of our game, just you and I, and our friends.)

You have to change games constantly to not get bored. On the other hand, there are games you want to play over and over again, and then you become a master. Language, knowledge, rhythm, ritual, sport, sex, friendship, art: like art, games are an end on themselves —even if you play games with money, or if you tend to play with fire.)

There is a fine line between performance and real life, the viewer and the performer; we are all in life performing one way or the other, and we all need each other’s energy to stay alive, to coexist.

High Voltage is a game that connects two worlds, creating a new one; two realities where the spectator also becomes the performer, where the watcher becomes the player. Shuffling the cards, finding a way to pair outside and inside worlds, we create a game where it doesn’t matter what is performance or what is reality. The aim is to match these worlds to redefine a new one by using our imagination to share our own stories or those inspired by the imagery of the cards. As we keep playing the game of exercising and saving these playful and erotic images in our memory, boundaries are crossed to redefine reality and our desires, both broken and entangled. What really counts is the viewer’s judgement. We feel both liberated and oppressed, enchanted and electrified by our imagination.

Mara Catalan is a Spanish photographer. She moved to New York in 1990 and apprenticed as a dark room technician while working as a photographer and pursuing her personal projects. In 1995 she moved to Chiapas, Mexico where she found work as archivist, restorer and printer in the photography archives of the Na-Bolom Museum in San Cristobal de Las Casas. In 1997 Mara moved back to New York and began to work as a fine printer for MAGNUM Photos. She+p currently runs Studio 304 in Brooklyn NY, a studio space that offers photographers and video artists to show case their work on a monthly projection. From 2011 Mara has been a TA at the ICP Community Partnership program and is in continuous collaboration with the Josephine Herrick project and Al-Liqundoi workshops abroad. Mara also continues to expand her outreach working as a documentary photographer, performance art, stills, fine art and traveling to different countries to pursue her own personal projects. Today she lives in Williamsburg, NY, with her three children Luna, Kidon and Arlo.

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