That images are faster than words is a hard-to-refute fact. But it is just as true that, since the classical ekphrasis, visual representations have appeared together with written comments, turning words into usual companions that stress or alter their message. While photography changed our ways of seeing, it did not do away with text and also required notes for nuance. Even in a mediatic era as this one, based on the constant consumption of images, we still need captions to contextualize the millions of posts per second shared in social media.
This writing of the visible is one of the modus operandi of María Bleda and José María Rosa. Over more than three decades they have combined the systematic discipline and compositive rigor of documentary photography with an imaginary of their own, where landscape diptychs are superimposed on their places, architectures of detail on evocative narrations, and canonical typologies on their specific definitions. All this builds a constellation of images with multiple readings, where territory, time, and memory are interrelated.
Their oeuvre to date is gathered here for the first time in the exhibition presented by Fundación Mapfre in Barcelona and Museo ICO in Madrid, well accompanied by texts of the show’s curator and of the catalog authors. Aside from presenting its inherent and apparently involuntary aesthetic excellence, the overall view of their work offers a journey across anonymous geographies, Ancient settlements, or historic junctures, but above all it shows that images work better with words.