Alberto García-Alix & Daido Moriyama - Far from Home

A face-to-face between two of the most significant figures in contemporary photography.

Hailing from Japan and Spain respectively, Daido Moriyama and Alberto García-Alix both launched themselves headlong into the world of photography around the age of twenty, choosing as subject matter their contemporaries and epochs. A free-lance photographer in post-war Japan, Daido Moriyama has earned a reputation for the density, directness and roughness of his razor-edge shots. The city, vibrant and terrifying, is his backdrop of predilection, with its incessant din and flux, its clubs, its juke-boxes, its cars, motorbikes, women and stray animals. Poet, rocker, and anarchist matador in post-Franco Spain, Alberto García-Alix draws his inspiration from his immediate entourage. He is the author of a poignant and poetic cycle. With his biker's spirit, this photographer carved out an inimitable style for himself in the 80s, making portraits of those close to him: the eccentric actors of nocturnal Madrid.
For the Far from Home project, the pair have chosen to cut across their visions, their temperaments and their territories, thereby challenging the East-West dichotomy. Daido Moriyama, the Easterner, thus presents us with his views of a sensual Buenos Aires, taken in 2004 and 2005, while Alberto García-Alix, the Westerner, gives us photographs taken during his recent wanderings around Beijing. Buenos Aires / Beijing: two distant destinations; two short trips (two sojourns of ten days for the former and one of 55 days for the latter), and an opportunity to demonstrate that, despite being far from home, their distinct signatures and styles, their story-telling methods and their ways of recording the world remain the same.
As if saturated with contrasting energies, the picture Daido Moriyama paints of Buenos Aires is sometimes peaceful (the images of out-of-proportion stray animals or landscapes of deserted roads), at other times noisy and bustling. Children run. Couples embrace and begin to tango wildly. A carousel spins round at dizzying speed. The terraces of the Bombonera – the mythical stadium of the Boca neighbourhood – play host to the ovations of a delirious crowd. The Beijing of Alberto García-Alix is, on the other hand, imbued mostly with serenity. Faithful to his wont, the Spanish photographer has sought to orchestrate the light and organise his images based on diagonals and strong lines, as if composing graphic “portraits” of the city. Architectural fragments, pieces of sky-scrapers, telegraph poles and communication networks, trees stripped bare, etc. are all given this treatment.

Published in April 2008
Trilingual edition (English / Spanish / French)
21 x 29 cm (hardcover)
144 pages (b/w ill.)

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