'Letters to the director' by Cristina De Middel at the Sala Canal d'Isabel II

'Letters to the director' by Cristina De Middel at the Sala Canal d'Isabel II
bonart madrid - 15/09/23

The photographer Cristina De Middel (Alicante, 1975) lands at Sala Canal d'Isabel II of the Community of Madrid, from September 28, 2023 to January 14, 2024, with Letters to the Director -curated by Semiramis González-, a exhibition without a single marked route, and the axis of which are different fundamental topics of the traditional press such as war, violence, prostitution/sex work and migration. Based on the only response space that existed in the traditional press, the letters to the editor (where anyone who read a newspaper could write to question, ask or complain about something), it is sought here to counteract the unidirectional discourses of the visual and informative.

Letters to the Director presents previous and more recent projects showing for the first time widely, from Life and Miracles of Paula P. (2009), Gentlemen's Club (2015 – 2023) to current ones such as Journey to the Center (2015 – 2022)) or the new production The Kabuler (2022) alongside Lorenzo Meloni. All of these, along with others, address topics such as daily life in Afghanistan of the Taliban, the migratory journey through Mexico to reach the supposed center of the earth (as in Verne's novel) located in the United States or prostitution from different angles.

Beyond the drama of these issues, De Middel turns the tables and proposes new views without judgment, leaving it up to each of us to draw our own conclusions. The very spatial arrangement of the exhibition affects this idea, letting the visitor himself prepare his own news, transform these messages and write what he would like to read.

Middel speaks with a visual language inherited from his initial stage in photojournalism, with a commitment to communicate that he has never lost, at the same time that he uses the artistic fact as a truly transforming tool of reality, covering different ways of relating issues that interest him constantly, such as fiction/reality, narrative and visual communication, humor, narrative and the viewer's ultimate reading.

After ten years as a photojournalist, Cristina De Middel's work shifted to investigating the ambiguous relationship that photography has with truth. Combining the documentary with more conceptual approaches, the result is a questioning of the stereotypes and absolute truths that the medium usually flags. In 2017 he received the National Photography Award and became part of the Magnum agency, of which he assumed the presidency in 2022.

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