Laia Abril, artist and photographer
Laia Abril is a woman of great sensibility, a multidisciplinary artist who works with photography, text, video and sound. She graduated in journalism in Barcelona and then went to New York where she concentrated on photography and decided to start telling personal tales about disturbing, arcane topics to do with femininity, sexuality, eating disorders and gender equality.
After the success of On abortion, the first part of the long-term project History of misogyny, she researched, conceptualized and compared, in visual terms, the aversion to everything feminine and the dangers posed by Man's presence on earth. She uses a meticulous research methodology to survey the past and highlight the long, steady erosion of women's rights up to the present day. The evidence she has collected in visual, audio and text form is spun into a web of questions about ethics and morality and discloses a series of surprising social triggers, stigmas and taboos about topics that still pass unnoticed. Whatever the subject, she works with long-term projects which she presents in a variety of forms: exhibitions, installations, web sites, books and films.
What brought you to photography?
Photography is a tool that fell into my hands at a time when writing was not just making my head ache but limiting my ability to express myself. Later on photography itself came to limit me, so now I do multidisciplinary work. The real driving force was the innate curiosity which urged me to discover other people and tell tales that seemed to me to elude attention.
In a world dominated by images, what does it take for a photo to attract attention?
My photographs seldom attract attention. I think the secret now is to create interesting narratives which give riseto genuine spaces for reflection and thus make it possible to connect with the public. Different layers of information and emotions.
Abortion, rape, stereotypes: these are just a few of the recurring themes you tackle. The history of photography isn't very "feminist", is it?
Photography has been – and still is – dominated by a male, colonialist gaze simply because it matches its users, those who have the power to decide its mode of distribution.
What are your obsessions?
I'm very obsessive by nature. Though I prefer to talk about "intense curiosity", I tend to look for the reason behind everything, I want to understand, to create links between factors that can help me find a bit of order in all this chaos.
As a creative artist, do you think photography is a means for counteracting obsession, or is it the obsession itself?
To me personally it's a means of looking for answers to my obsessions.
April 22 to June 30, 2021
January 17, 2021
Tenor Viñas Room