TRIBES

PhotographerLucia Herrero
Prize1st Place in Book / People
Entry Description

“Tribes” is asocial analysis, a raw portrait of occidental society. Groups of families and friends set themselves up by the sea equipped to spend a day in the sun. All this, harmoniously juxtaposed, seems like a poem of customs that reveal with humour, colour and tenderness, the profundity of a whole society. These photos of modern-day beach groups are inspired on the studio portraits of ancient tribes who proudly posed in traditional costumes next to their prized possessions. The sky and the sea become the painted backdrop of the studio and the sand seems as if it were sprinkled on the studio floor. The lighting and the theatricality of the groups add an element of fantasy to the portraits of real people in their natural surroundings. That enlightens a banal situation and elevates it to a state of exception. I call this way of social photography “Antropologia Fantastica”. Here this series talk about human condition in a moment of peaceful holiday, their pride to be there, their honesty and vulnerability. The objectively limited surrounding offers a complete extract of the essential. This portrait of the “Spanish Tragicomedy” is mean to have many different interpretations. It talks about Occidental middle class, which suffer an identity crisis created by the current economical situation. These images make us wonder what changes and what remains afterwards. The photos were taken along the Spanish coast and people were asked to participate in situ: Ten minutes for a flashing set up, balancing colour, shapes and hierarchies. All that gets dissolved afterwards leaving as the only witness a group portrait, a poetic painting… a human allegory. Lucia Herrero develops in photography what she calls “Antropología Fantástica”. She portraits in a documentary and theatrical style, people or groups with fantasy and dramatic elements. It is a photo-event in which the actors interpret themselves.