PHotoEspaña 2014 opened in Madrid last week. The festival ocupies a strange place in the photo world. The locations are sumptuous (The Reina Sofia Museum, the Museum of Romanticism, the Telefonica) and some of the exhibitions are simply marvelous (see our selection below), but no one seems to be talking about it and the exhibitions are deserted. The festival is put together by friends and curators for the 70 journalists invited the first day and then basta!
There are reasons for this indifference. In fact, it’s not so much a festival but a month of photography. A festival can only function in a defined space where its participants constantly cross each other’s paths. The Mois de la Photo in Paris succeeds because it incorporates itself with other events: the Salon de la Photo, auctions and, especially, Paris Photo and its ancillary festivals.
In Madrid, there’s no such luck. What’s more, all the exhibitions charge admission and the organizer’s communication with the city is nonexistent. To top it all off, the museum guards don’t seem to know where the exhibitions are. Until the concept is completely redesigned, PhotoEspaña will remain a gathering for a few insiders who come to discover a few surprises. There are worse things to be, but it’s still a shame.
Until July 27th, 2014