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Running-up 1997

Txema Salvans

In Mandera, a Kenyan town bordering Somalia



Txema Salvans is a photographer and alternated his studies in biology and photography. He studied at the ICP in New York thanks to a scholarship from where he moved to La Fábrica, Benetton's center for artistic creation. In 1997 he was awarded the first FotoPres prize for two of his works: Historia de Juan Durvan, the day-to-day life of a blind man, and Vivan Los novios, a reportage on a social activity such as the ritual of a wedding, full of curious nuances, in which Salvans decided to infiltrate the wedding ceremonies, together with the professional photographers who covered these events on assignment and thus be able to carry out his essay in an ironic way.

In 2005 he won the PhotoEspaña competition for the best book of Spanish photography for Nice to meet you, a work in which he uses invitations from strangers to meet different family groups from all over Spain. Subsequently, in 2013, with his work The Waiting Game, he won the Ibero-American Book competition of Editorial RM. In this 8-year project, Txema Salvans photographed in context the prostitution that takes place on the roads of the Mediterranean coast.

Salvans' work, therefore, speaks to us of the collective self-deception that leads us to fantasize about these transitory redoubts of paradise. Since we don't know if another paradise is possible, we are content with those moments of happiness and rest amid concrete and factories. But it also speaks to us of a paradox that concerns the politics of vision. The paradox is that we, the spectators of the photographs, are forbidden to see what the actors in the photographs want to see, and on the other hand, what they don't want to see is rubbed into our eyes. It is Salvans who manages the instances of this dialectic and in doing so demonstrates, as Nietzsche maintained, that there are no facts, only interpretations.

Txema Salvans has collaborated with magazines all over the world such as Le Monde, New York Times, Esquire, Suddeutsche Zeitung, Stern, NZZ, Liberation, GQ, Monocle, The Guardian, El País, Colors...