Within the development framework of a project for the renewal and redefinition of our current democratic system, it is essential to tackle the problem of historical memory, especially in relation to the Spanish Civil War, by questioning the past and the present with a critical eye.
The city, as an organic and changing scenography, can be taken as a living museum and can be inhabited in many different ways. As a didactic entity, it is capable of educating, thrilling and moving.
Firmitas is a photographic project still in progress on the most emblematic arquitectures charged with Francoist ideology erected during the 1940s and 1950s in the urban centre of Madrid, a city of intense change that facilitates the broad development of post-memorial proposals of a photographic nature. If for Vitruvius an architectural work had to obey 3 fundamental principles: Firmitas (firmness), Utilitas (utility) and Venustas (beauty); for the anachronistic taste of the regime, propaganda architecture had to suffer from a clear hypertrophy of the first principle. This series of images therefore tries to emphasise this, avoiding idealised, glorifying and excessively aestheticising points of view.
This series attempts to intensify the gaze directed towards different focal points of memory in order to denaturalise these architectures which, even today, constitute a kind of Francoist topography and, finally, to contribute to their integration into the “museum” that the city of Madrid can become, as it has happened in cities from other countries that have suffered the barbarity of the war.
About Iván Cáceres
Iván Cáceres (Madrid, 1984) is a visual artist and university lecturer. He graduated in Fine Arts from the Polytechnic University of Valencia in 2010 after having studied at the Higher Technical School of Architecture of Madrid for 3 years. Subsequently, he deepened in the development of photographic projects during the Master in Artistic Production -2012- and during the Master in Photography, Art and Technique -2016- (both at the Polytechnic University of Valencia) with the project La última marcha, developed during a 3-year stay in Berlin, where he worked in parallel as a photographer and graphic designer for various cultural marketing companies. Since 2016 he has been a university lecturer in Madrid.
In his photographic works he reflects on the relationship between history and the present through landscape and architecture, emphasising themes such as the recovery of historical memory, post-memory, urban space, cultural identity and the conservation of historical heritage. In addition to her artistic work, he is dedicated to research in arts.
His artistic works have been shown in different art festivals, such as Art-Sur 2017, the International Art Festival Incubarte VI and the international festival Trieste Photo Days 2019. He has been selected in competitions such as the URBAN2019 & URBAN2022 Photo Awards and the Felix Schoeller Photo Awards, as well as being selected in the portfolio viewings of Carpetes Obertes and Descubrimientos 2020 PHE, organised by PhotoEspaña. Finally, his work has been published in magazines such as Dodho Magazine and Al-Tiba9 Magazine. [Official Website]