About The Ensanche from the inside

In April 2002, the Eixample District of Barcelona commissioned me to photograph the aspects that, from my point of view, best summarized the Eixample. This commission had its precedent in the photographs I had taken in 1982 of the Monumental Eixample area. Twenty years later, I was asked to photograph the entire Eixample, deciding according to my criteria which images to take to capture its main characteristics.

My proposal consisted of photographing streets, houses, sidewalks, chamfers, interior courtyards, landmark buildings, places of rest, and pedestrian thoroughfares. I thought that, in this way, those unfamiliar with it could get an idea of the main aspects of the neighborhood.

It seemed important to me to capture images that are not usually accessible to the citizen. After giving it some thought, I found the guiding thread: taking photos from inside the houses. The Eixample from the Eixample. I would take photos of the streets from the balconies, windows, and terraces that top the buildings. From there, I needed to request addresses I could access in all the neighborhoods of the Eixample. And so, with that initial list, I began taking photos.

I also had to make a few basic decisions. I was clear that I wanted to work with medium format cameras and a tripod. I preferred the option of color transparency and discarded black and white.

From the interiors, I photographed streets, interior courtyards divided into small patios, hanging laundry, sunlit galleries of great plasticity that were not accessible to the citizen. Unexpected images emerged, a sea that became close from the terraces, monumental buildings that interacted with each other: the Casa de les Punxes with the Sagrada Familia, etc. In short, I had the opportunity to contemplate a different landscape from that seen at street level.

The passages and chamfers received special treatment. I photographed the chamfers directly from the street, always from the same point of view, seeking different architectures and a light that did not fall on the façade. I did not want shadows. As for the passages, I took them at two-thirds of their length, making it evident that they opened onto a main street.