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Portraits of today's Homo sapiens among Neanderthals

French photographer Pierre Gonnord exposes 30 powerful images among the fossils of the Museum of Human Evolution

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Portraits of today's Homo sapiens among Neanderthals

A few meters of vertebrae and human ribs that drag half a million years, re are striking portraits in which it has been captured, in less than a second, common expressions to all Homo sapiens. This has been traced a relationship that arises from seeing oldest fossils of Western Europe, exhibited in showcases of Museum of Human Evolution (MEH) in Burgos, and thirty photographs of French Pierre Gonnord that are shown in this center until 23rd of SE Ptiembre. A place that explains where we come also welcomes strong portraits of gypsies, immigrants, miners or monks "that make us think about who we are, are some images that reach us all, because we look at m," explained French photographer in Guided tour to press of his exhibition Atavism, last Thursday, June 21st.

"I gar intimate moments of people and to select whom photograph I notice in ir experiences, ir sensibility and ir face... In this case, most were portrayed in remote and rural areas of Spain and Portugal, "added this artist (Cholet, 1963) resident in Madrid since 1988, when he discovered that his work in world of marketing and numbers horrified him. Today he has become owner of a style as a recognizable portraitist, whose hallmarks include black background to isolate protagonist, great format and a wonderful light of chiaroscuro that, as always remind him, even if he does not do so much grace, refers to Portraits of Velázquez or Rembrandt.

In case of people who capture Gonnord, y are beings with wrinkles and a look that convey a life not comfortable. This is case with Hattie, an elderly black woman who portrayed herself as a participant since first protests for rights of her race in United States. Despite se tanned skins, Gonnord takes ir portrayals of "beauty and dignity", some of us throw an almost defiant look, with which y seem to interrogate: "What about you, what"?, as it does primitive, "a man of sea who lives on ground", with right cheek Crossed by a gash. In or cases y do not direct ir eyes to chamber, like Ahmed, an immigrant who came from Algeria with a lost and melancholic gaze. They are, in general, characters living outside urban society, deeply rooted in ir land and those who freeze with a depth that refers to a gallery of Socratic.

At this time when taking pictures and posing is available to anyone with mobile – a drive that he is not interested in because "he shoots without thinking" – Gonnord continues to opt for short sessions, but preceded by a long field work, sometimes months , before making a single shot. He enters his world, knows m, talks with m and thus avoids posed. "I don't want to mold anyone because magic, mystery of portrait is in an instant, like when you take a spike or a butterfly flying through field," says this author, who was late for photography. Until almost 40 years did not begin to take pictures, was exit to a stage of disorientation after a family loss.

Atavism is part of a series of exhibitions that proposes MEH in which contemporary visual artists coexist with discourse of a Museum of eminent scientific character and, as noted by curator of exhibition, Carmen Fernandez Ortiz, "is also a journey By manners of humans. " The end of tour exhibits most recent images of production of Gonnord, of 2017, and which had not been seen. They are those of members of religious communities that live apart, for example in monasteries of Eastern Europe. A territory that is exploring for its fascinating history as a crossroads of ancient civilizations. The recollection and sobriety expressed by se beings of spiritual life has moved Gonnord to smaller formats.

The visit ends and when it becomes view re are remains of human species of prehistory. It is not difficult to imagine that complete skull baptized as Miguelon, in honor of Miguel Indurain, who counts 500,000 years share many of concerns and satisfactions of Elena, "a Woman of faith," says author, who contemplates us with his huge green eyes that They transmit peace and serenity.

From city, to countryside and border

Pierre Gonnord did not start in photography until end of nineties. Its first important work was Far East, of 2003, fruit of its stage lived in Japan. Having portrayed urbanites from Madrid, new York or Tokyo, he abandoned his interest in large cities to focus on portrait of people who live far away from m, especially at borders, such as line between Spain and Portugal. In addition to se two countries, Gonnord has exhibited his work in France, United States, Bulgaria or Italy. Today, his work is part of collections, among ors, of Reina Sofía Museum, in Madrid; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, or Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris.


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