The Nau Gaudí – Bassat Collection in Mataró hosts a trip to Spain from the second half of the 20th century signed by the photographers Francesc Català-Roca and Ramon Manent. Until the end of February, you can visit Rastres compartits, an exhibition that brings together about sixty snapshots of landscapes, activities and experiences from the last years of the Franco regime and the subsequent democratic transition. The tour allows you to relive the last decades of the century with a series of images posed as documentary humanist photography. Manent, following the criteria also defended by Català-Roca, bets on exhibiting the photographs without posters so as not to condition the interpretation of the visitors who tour the exhibition.
The exhibition, curated by Núria Poch, shows a compendium of cities and ways of living that illustrate recent history in different corners of Spain. In a visit prior to the official inauguration, Poch praised the legacy of Català-Roca and Manent this Friday "because they show a trail of landscapes, activities and people that now only exist through their photographs". "They went looking for the reality of the mid-20th century to translate it into images", he added.
In the case of the Català-Roca images, there are 31 black and white photographs, and they all come from the F. Català-Roca Photographic Fund - Historical Archive of the College of Architects of Catalonia. There is only one exception from the Bassat collection.
As for the photographs of the Mataróní Ramon Manent, they are 28 snapshots of his private background, and they combine scenes in black and white with others revealed in color. Manent himself has highlighted the figure of Català-Roca as a "reference". He recalled how they both traveled to different places on the peninsula on behalf of various publishing houses, with trips that they took advantage of on a private level to capture everyday scenes of what surrounded them.
"We photographed classics such as the aqueduct of Segovia, but we also took many other photos of which we never knew what we would end up doing, until occasions like this exhibition in Mataró arose", celebrated Manent, who recalled that, among many questions , shared with Català-Roca the same way of "analyzing" the environment.
For his part, Francesc Català-Roca's son, Andreu Català, highlighted the misgivings his father had when it came to identifying photographs with captions or placards. "We have to learn to read the images", he defended. Català highlighted photography as a tool of "visual excellence" and invited visitors to the exhibition to let themselves be carried away by the information conveyed by the images of his father and Manent.
In turn, the Councilor for Culture, Heidi Pérez, has applauded the result of the compendium of photographs by the two artists, pointing out the Nau Gaudí as a "perfect" space to recall snapshots from the second half of the 20th century, "to remember how it was a country that no longer exists but that is less distant than it might seem to us".
'Rastres compartits' is part of the commemoration of the Year of Francesc Català-Roca on the occasion of the centenary of his birth. It can be visited starting this Friday evening and until February 25.