Salón Rico I. Madinat al-Zahra, 2004

Bleda y Rosa2004

Fundacion MAPFRE

Fundacion MAPFRE
Madrid, Spain

Fundación MAPFRE owns 15 works from the series Arquitecturas/Estancias [Architectures/Rooms] (2001-2006). This work emerged while they were developing the series Ciudades [Cities], where the focus was on urban spaces. Symbolic or monumental spaces caught their attention due to their dual nature as centers of power and decision-making, and as places where intimate and personal life experiences took place, and the series emanated from this thought. “Pictures neither describe nor place us in the rooms, but cause us to experience them and to return to them from a point of evocation,” write Bleda y Rosa.


  • Title: Salón Rico I. Madinat al-Zahra, 2004
  • Date Created: 2004
  • Pigment inkjet Print on cotton paper mounted on dibbond: Edición 1/5
  • Physical Dimensions: w145 x h124 cm (Without frame, without passepartout)
  • Photographer: Bleda y Rosa
  • More Info: Official website, Official website
  • Artist Biography: BLEDA Y ROSA The landscape, the space that is filled with memory, together with the idea of the journey and an interest in history combine to create the main axis of Bleda y Rosa’s work, genuine investigations which manage to show human impact on different spaces and the traces of the lives lived in them. A stroll through a memory and recollections which are not ours on an individual level, but which belong to us all collectively, and whose evocative quality allows us to think. Bleda y Rosa rely on everything they show and say but also, and primarily, on everything that is not said or shown: in their work, what is latent plays a large part and creates a fleeting but deep link between the observer and each piece, where that silence, that blank space, reaches its fullest meaning. The process of reflection that is woven into their work makes demands on the spectator. Bleda y Rosa’s work calls out to a silent and demanding inference in which, if we follow the artists’ suggestions, a process of contemplation is guaranteed. The profound beauty of their pictures lies in their meaning, both in the sense intended by their creators and in the strictness the artists apply to their creative processes. As if it was a complex and comprehensive Meccano construction, the work of Bleda y Rosa consists of different pieces that, once joined together, issue a message open to interpretation, which nevertheless continues to be specific and conceptual. Their creative process has its guidelines: once they have identified the subject they will focus on, certain phases of work are marked out. The first phase deals with documentation and definition, as well as with aesthetic appearance; the second phase focuses on the journey and length of stay in that place, as well as with the consequences this duration implies. Creating their art in series form is key as a means of working because it “allows us to approach a form or a concept with precision,” they say. For this very reason they include the descriptive text within the piece – with the importance of a footnote – because, together with the image, this allows them to show the complexity of the landscape they are referring to and to work with the space/time continuum. Pauses, observations, precision. It is the creation and use of a language (in the sense of an available system of communication) that makes each of their series resemble one of those novels where everything within the universe it has created has a meaning. Bleda (Castellón, 1969) and Rosa (Albacete, 1970) are two creatives who work as one artist in a methodical, deliberate and profound way. While at the Applied Arts School in Valencia they identified photography as the appropriate vehicle for their art. Photography as a document, and the idea of the archive as the container of the heritage of history, are statements often linked to their work; they respond by trying to specify and clarify the definitions given to their work, which inevitably restrict its scope. In the same way, the names of Bernd y Hilla Becher are almost always mentioned a number of times when Bleda y Rosa’s work is discussed, although they cite other influences and references as having had a more intense impact, such as the walker Hamish Fulton, Fischli and Weiss, Baldessari or Eugène Atget. Campos de fútbol [Football Grounds], Campos de batalla [Battlegrounds], Ciudades [Cities], Origen [Origin] and Arquitecturas [Architectures] are the large series of work they have produced up to and including 2013. Campos de fútbol focused on spaces previously devoted to the sport and its spectacle, but subsequently abandoned, and in some cases repurposed for a new use. From the beginning, their treatment of the space, the architecture of the space and that within it, has been one of their distinguishing features. Empty spaces, once populated by human beings. Spaces where the pulse of lives once lived in them is tangible when we so much as scratch the surface. These works invite the spectator to set the process of thought in motion, to submit to an evolution that entails experience and leaves contemplation aside; to a sense that “something happens to us” after discovering them; to unearth and explore this discovery; ultimately, and bizarrely, to live. Winning the PHotoEspaña Revelation Photographer Prize in 2005 and the Spanish National Photography Award in 2008, the work of Bleda y Rosa can be found in collections such as those of ARTIUM in Vitoria, MNCARS (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía) in Madrid, MUSAC (Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León) in León, EPCC (Musée d´Art Moderne de Ceret), Musée d´Art Moderne de Collioure or FNAC (Fonds National d´Art Contemporain) in France. They can also be found in CGAC (Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea), CAAC (Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo) or CAB (Centro de Arte Caja de Burgos), as well as in private collections such as Altadis, Fundación Coca-Cola, Ordoñez-Falcón or Rafael Tous. “We want the spectator to use their imagination to read the image,” they say. A scientific process of creation that gives rise to poetry. Paula Susaeta
  • Type: Photography
  • Rights: © Bleda y Rosa. Courtesy of the artist and Gallery Fúcares, Madrid, ©COLECCIONES FUNDACIÓN MAPFRE / Fernando Maquieira

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