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Metropolitan Minotaur – photo essay by Iris Alba

Metropolitan Minotaur, photo essay by Iris Alba

Metropolitan Minotaur is a snorkeling in the Paris underground, in the crowded or desert subway, day or night, always at night though because the day never exists there. Both Theseus and Ulysses, I feel like a lonely hero in the modern city, armed with my little silver compact camera.

This odyssey in black and white has no purpose yet, in a well-known destination, the stations become indistinct from each other, everything looks like neon lights, escalators, flying carpets and the somnambulistic mass of people walking all the time. A documentary in this underground environment must leave behind the idea of a figurative representation and instead focus on sleek, waves forms in perpetual motion and the immobility of a half-awake sphinx.
People becomes ghosts, the shapes of shadows, and the light remains the price to pay for seeing the world.
Metropolitan Minotaur tells the story of a daily hell: its mapping is that of Daedalus maze.
I want to try to see things in the blink of an eye, in this time-between where reality wavers in its fragility.
Metropolitan Minotaur is the mythological story of this attempt. (Iris Alba)

Q&A with Iris Alba

Photography is…
Photography is a way of thinking without thinking. A way of seeing with the eyes shut.

Photography and writing…
I wrote poetry before I began photography. But generally, texts come after the images, they just underline what is told by the pictures.

Who left the biggest impression on you?
My masters in photography are Guy Bourdin, Daido Moriyama, Mario Gioacomelli or Ralph E. Meatyard… But I suppose the person who left the biggest impression on me is my mother.

Tell us a little about yourself
I’m a self-educated photographer. I try to give to my pictures the smell of macadam after nightfall, the taste of sweat after love, the sound of chaos and silence after the world ends. My images are neither testimonies nor discourses about something ; they can be read as poetic translations of a lost vision, as the pieces of a forgotten phrase. Maybe they are useless… but they tend to find again the innocency of a new-born child just discovering the colors and the shape of things around him.

Photographer(s):

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