As part of a wider plan to stimulate the progress of animal and plant studies in photography, Fauna & Flora is involved in the development of curatorial projects, and strives to take the subject to a wider audience.
From Thursday 08 November 2012 to Friday 14 December 2012
‘Nemini Parco’ : An exhibition of work by Jesus Monterde
Exhibition held at Fauna & Flora Gallery in Newport, Wales
Jesus Monterde’s work is a consequence of his interaction with the inhabitants of remote places in El Maestrazgo, Spain. His personal commitment to document the way of living and thinking in those locations and the relationship between man and animal is visible, but also it is visible his proximity to the world he photographs. Until he was around twelve years old, Jesus lived in that cultural environment and in that sort of collective hallucination, brutal but truthful and beautiful.
‘Nemini Parco’ (meaning “No one is spared”) was a common expression to be engraved in the scythe in the depictions of Death in the medieval Dances of Death and all through the baroque period, reminding Men, that Death makes no distinctions among their victims and it leads all men to the abyss. Complex rituals and singular actions that we witness through Jesus Monterde’s work, depict the way the subjects have to escape fear and somehow establish control over their lives. In the end it does not matter what is done in life we are all equal in Death’s eyes, including animals.
In ‘Nemini Parco’ we are reminded that the relationship between Man and Animal is ancient. The burden that still haunts the cultural representations of animal life in remote places of Iberia. There, animals can be symbolic, a premonition or even a demoniacal messenger. Grace and Bestiality live together in ‘Nemini Parco’ and remain latent in our eyes when even when we leave the images.
Jesus Monterde was one of the first students of Blank Paper, an independent photography school, based both in Madrid and Valencia, Spain. Blank Paper was the first ever photography collective in Spain, founded in 2003 by seven photographers wanting to showcase their work. The Blank Paper school has now become a place for personal experimentation within photography and constructed for the germination of what they call “a concept of photography that is sincere, personal and far from the photographic cliche”. The perfect environment for an artist like Jesus Monterde to be nurtured and encouraged to develop ‘Nemini Parco’.
Other images of this project have been exhibited in Lleida Emergent Photography Festival in Lleida, Spain in 2011.