Where Memories Meet

The Spanish Duo Using Photography As Artistic Research Into Memory

“When we met we did not even know how to focus,” artistic duo Aitor Frias & Cecilia Jimenez tell us. “We were dedicated to our careers.” Aitor was set on a path in architecture, while Cecilia had her sights on science. Brought together through their shared passion for the arts, the pair relocated from Granada in Spain to Brunswick in Germany, where many hours were spent walking through beautiful woods engrossed in conversations on art and photography. Inspiration had taken off.

1
The Clay and the Potter

At its core, Aitor and Cecelia’s photography, candid and ethereal, contains a central fascination with memory. This is the axis upon which all their images rotate. Slippery, elusive fragments of a scene warped by time, is what their photography provokes. It tells us that, as memories elude us, we try to clutch on to them and preserve them in perfect condition.

The camera was invented as a tool of documentation, precisely to capture that which is easily lost to our minds. But Aitor and Cecelia’s impressive oeuvre reminds us of the imperfections of memory, and equally of the lies of the camera. We see people but their faces are obscured, as in a horror film. They turn their backs to us, or cover themselves with a veil. Blurred images make us desperate to see. We are denied the pleasure of seeing with full clarity.

11
About the furious bird´s song and the End of the World

2
Scream

“We want to continue to extract the images that constantly come to our minds and make them real. That is our main purpose. Photography is now an obsession for us.”

With gripping insights into the process behind their production, we were excited to find out more:

The Plus: How did you start to work with photography collaboratively?
Aitor Frias & Cecilia Jimenez:
One day we began to use the camera to develop the ideas that we had planned during our walks under the trees. Since then our work has been exhibited in Spain and in the UK. It has even been featured on the cover of the last Issue of Inside Artists, a beautiful Magazine from the UK. So we are very happy and really excited, especially because this whole adventure has been unexpected.

14
Lost

TP: What common themes would you say unite your photographs and your creative process?
AF & CJ:
Our project starts from the analysis of the mechanism by which memories work. A mechanism that fascinates us because of its ability to distort reality, to make it abstract and focus it into a perfect and absolutely beautiful minimalism. From this research process, we use that tool might be called “the created memory” to raise, from our position as artists, a series of unknowns and existential doubts about the human being.

3
Clouds to Nowhere

TP: Where do you take pictures? Are your shoots pre-planned or more spontaneous?
AF & CJ:
In the beginnings our photographs were mainly spontaneous but over time have become more planned. We always leave margin for improvisation, because spontaneity is an element that we find essential for our work. You can map the site, the composition, textures, colours, model, mood, etc…, but there are things you should certainly evolve on their own if you want to get a natural, not too rigid, result.

9
Untitled

TP: What do you look for in a good photograph?
AF & CJ:
Abstraction, minimalism, elegance and concept. We truly believe that the tools of the artist of today, with all this digital technology, remain exactly the same as centuries ago. What interests us is not just something beautiful that is happening right now, in front of our camera, but to what extent it has always happened, and will always happen.

12
That´s me

TP: Can you share a story behind one of your images that you’ll never forget?
AF & CJ:
There are many stories we will never forget, as the day we did “The Clay and the Potter,” which was supposed to have a solemn and profound atmosphere while we were dressed in our pyjamas with bears. In the picture are only our hands but two centimetres beyond the frame were our pink pyjamas with lovely bears. Another is when we made the series “No Meaning Whispers”. We had to wake up at 6 in the morning to take pictures in fog and once there gave us fits of laughter and we almost lost the chance of take pictures on that hazy ambience, because it lasted barely half an hour. We always have fun taking pictures.

4
Nobody will know

TP: What else are you working on this year?
AF & CJ:
We are now working on a photobook entitled “Landscapes of the Memory” and in a new project called, “About the furious bird´s song and the End of the World” for a future exhibition. We also think that now is the moment to start shooting for magazines with a sense of beauty similar to ours.

5
Red swan

6
No meaning whispers#1

7
No meaning whispers#2

8
No meaning whispers#3

10
Untitled

13
November Memories

15
When you left

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December of 2015, Madrid

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