The creative process of photography work often starts as an exploration. In Juan Aballe’s series Country Fictions it seems to be a literal and hypothetical exploration. After lots of talks amongst friends about moving to a simpler rural life in the Iberian Peninsula Juan began photographing life there as a way of unveiling the myth about living in the idealistic pastoral setting. With an interest in exploring the relationship between the preconceived ideas of living rural, these photos sit somewhere between reality and imagination.
Using photography as a way to test the water, to explore the idea of making the commitment to leave the city behind. Juan photographed in The Iberian Peninsula over a few years returning many times to continue his work.
Hit the Jump to see the rest of the series on Despite The Illusion
Driven by his inner turmoil about leaving the city Juan began photographing the Iberian Peninsula, projecting his emotions about “wanting to believe” in a simpler life into his photography work. Country Fictions is Juan’s imagination and reality confronting each other, “In what could be called a collection of daydreams”
“Taking reality as a starting point, I'm interested in how photography is capable of evoking emotions beyond reality itself and how the same limitations that define the photographic language allow it to create ambiguous representations whose final sense is given by each viewer.”
The beauty of photographic language is that its not an absolute, that what is shown doesn't have to be a reality. The lives shown here are not fiction, they are documents of the people living in the Iberian Peninsula but the work is not necessarily about these people, but more about who is behind the camera. As all photography is a reflection of the photographer, Juan embraces this and gives us a glimpse into his personal thoughts and feelings.
“The illusion of escaping from contemporary society, the myths and hopes built around nature come together with the strangeness and the nostalgic look at a life that I might never live.”
Juan now lives and works in Madrid, Prior to his photography career he was a man of science. Studying Chemistry in Madrid and Berlin and from there went on to study Photography in NYC. The attraction to photography came from growing up in a very scientific environment, photography offers the attraction of the unmeasurable and emotional process of perception, somewhere between fact and interpretation.
The series Country Fictions has since been made into a book, you can find more of Juan Aballe’s work on his site