Blank - collectors edition
Year 2011. In a context of a global economic crisis partly caused by banks, they began a process of massive closure of their offices characterized by painting their crystals white before leaving the place. The windows became opaque, an ironic metaphor for the way many financial institutions work. The white color, in western culture traditionally associated with values such as purity and beauty, acquired in this case a negative value.
BLANK is the result of 6 years of work, including photographs made by Josep Maria de Llobet between 2013 and 2014 in the city of Barcelona. After being exhibited at the DOCfield 2016 and Revela-T 2017 Photography festivals, and after going through various editing processes, we are very proud to publish this body of work in the form of a limited edition collector's book-object.
SpecificationsPhotographs: Josep Maria de Llobet
Text: Itziar González Virós
Design: Rubio & del Amo
Printing: Laboratorio para el Arte por Estudios Durero
Handcrafting: Àngels Arroyo, Tinta invisible
Case crafting: Maquetas Pojimbo
Die-cut and screen-printed methacrylate box, 21 x 47 x 2,5 cm
Paper Munken Lynx, 240 gr
All texts in English and Spanish
Limited edition of 15 numbered copies, signed by the author
Price: 380€ + postage
Text by Itziar González Virós included in the book
Hit the mark, point-blank. Take careful aim and succeed in seeing what no one else sees. Follow the trail of debris of the financial-sector shipwreck and rescue the white-painted windows of their bank branches. Take them down from the walls and release them from their constricting frames and then bring them all together in the same glass, in a dead-end street, in a nowhere landscape. That is Blank, the artwork that Josep Maria de Llobet places in our hands, this time in the form of a book. What we find inside, once it has been duly dislocated, torn yet again from its setting, is the powerful unfolding before us of the body of a crime. The financialization of our economy and the commercialization of our cities could never have made life as hard for us as they have done without the silent complicity of these local banks. Terminals dotted around our neighbourhoods. Urban artefacts for the collecting of our savings and our wages, which in the course of time moved their old toughened-glass customer service windows out to the big display windows on our streets, where they pasted up those huge adverts with their feel-good images of happy families and smiling pensioners. They carefully said nothing about what they were planning to do in the event of mortgage defaults. They did nothing to help us with the small print of their contracts. They somehow failed to mention the fate of the laboriously built-up savings of an entire working life. Not a thing. Not a trace of that initial show of empathy as a marketing strategy. Only white paint to make visible their love of opacity.
For all of these reasons, this book is also the repository of the archives of a forensic photographer who has dedicated six years to assembling and itemizing the evidence, the proofs of the crime. One by one he has extracted them with the tweezers of his vision and arranged them in a new territory that allows us to understand what is happening to us. It was urgently necessary to waste no time, to rescue our gaze from this repetitive landscape of concealment. If the conquerors of old scattered salt on the earth before they abandoned the city they had laid waste, the banks painted their big windows white. Both the white crystal of the salt and the white glass of the display windows are the curse of the victor who, before moving on, delivers one last final blow. The impossibility of rehabilitation. The denial of any refounding of the sacked territory.
Faced with all this, the creative gesture of resistance can be no other than that of reconstructing the urban landscape of devastation in the form of a model. And making it visible, just as it is visible in the texture of the layers of paint, the gesture of the person that painted the windows white.