Jordi Pol's photography and neighborhood life in Barcelona in the 70s and 80s

Jordi Pol's photography and neighborhood life in Barcelona in the 70s and 80s
bonart barcelona - 21/12/22

The Barcelona Photographic Archive presents the Jordi Pol exhibition from December 21, 2022 to May 14. Among the crowd that gathers the photographs of the city from the 1970s and 1980s. XX made by Pol with a style that reminds us of the photography of "the decisive moment". These are images that are included in the so-called Street Photography, when Pol went out to the neighborhoods of Ribera and Raval in Barcelona to collaborate with the project that the International Center of Photography Barcelona launched with the 'objective to see the situation of the city's neighborhoods.

Jordi Pol (Barcelona, 1949) started taking photographs with his father's Voigtländer camera when he was still a teenager. He worked at the Oasis bar, which his parents had opened in 1956 on the chamfer of Carrer Viladomat with Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, right in front of Casa Golferichs. Self-taught photographer, his school was – as he likes to explain – the street. But he learned the trade by working as an assistant to the photographer Pere Pons, uncle of fellow photographer and friend Lluís Bover, who had an advertising studio in the Putxet neighborhood. Alongside this photographer, Jordi Pol learned about films, a black and white laboratory, photographic cameras of all steps, lighting, and solving any unforeseen problems in professional photographic practice. In his words, "working with Pere was like going to university and getting paid at the end of the month".

In 1967, Voigländer returned to her father because she had been given an Asahi Pentax camera at home. With this camera he takes photographs of the Montjuïc races and wins the Ramon Dimas prize, sponsored by the weekly newspaper Destino, with a report on a motocross competition (1969). He befriends Edmon Vallès, who introduces him to the monthly magazine Historia y Vida. He also publishes in Oriflama. In 1970 he produced a report on the Barcelona Stock Exchange that was published by the weekly Destino.

In 1971 he took his camera to the Pyrenees of Huesca, where he photographed his comrades, marches and maneuvers. Between the years 1972 and 1979 he associates with Artemi Bellés and they found the advertising studio Pol & Artemi. From 1979, Jordi Pol organized his own business doing advertising photography and various reporting assignments. Between 1979 and 1983 he collaborated with the Barcelona International Photography Center (CIFB) which, located in the Raval neighborhood and directed by Albert R. Guspi (Barcelona, 1943-1985), marked a turning point in the forms of learning and in the documentary practices of photographers born after 1950, such as Josep Tobella, Xavier Martí, Anna Boyé, Esteve Lucerón, Pep Cunties, Jordi García or Jordi Sarrà.

Between 1990 and 2000, Jordi Pol was responsible for the Francesc Català-Roca Photography Space. In 2019, he gave his collection to the Photographic Archive of Barcelona, which, with successive deliveries until this year 2022, adds up to more than 31,000 photographs, the result of his personal photographic practice and his professional activity.


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