Juan Aballe

Juan Aballe started working in the darkroom while studying chemistry at the universities of Madrid and Berlin. After graduating as a chemist, Juan decided to fully devote himself to photography and visual media. He studied at the school of the International Center of Photography (NYC), and obtained his Master in Photography at EFTI School (Madrid). Juan’s work has been exhibited and published internationally and he has been awarded grants from institutions such as the Spanish Ministry of Culture, EFTI or Fundación Botín. He has lived several years in Germany and the U.S.A. and is currently based in Madrid. Today we look at Juan’s series Country Fictions.

Juan_Aballe_01_oValley in Asturias, 2011

Juan_Aballe_02_oEva, 2011

“Produced between 2011 and 2013, these images are the result of a series of travels to different rural areas and scarcely populated regions of the Iberian Peninsula. As several close friends began to think about moving to the country, I was confronted with the idea of leaving the city myself and starting a new life closer to nature. In Country Fictions, reality and my imagination come together to deal with my distant relationship with the rural environment and the emotions brought about by the idea of taking that step. These photographs are the visual expression of an inner conflict that has to do with “wanting to believe” in a better, simpler life. In what could be called a collection of daydreams, Country Fictions reflects on the photographic language itself and how we are influenced by previous representations and preconceived ideas about rural utopias. The illusion of escaping from contemporary society, the myths and hopes built around nature come together with the strangeness and the nostalgic look at a life that I might never live.”

Juan_Aballe_03_oCar in Castillejo, 2011

Juan_Aballe_04_oUrs’ bed, Pyrenees, Navarre, 2012

Country Fictions written by Juan Aballe

“We search for years, we imagine our future in better places where we could start over. We leave the city behind travelling for miles and miles, driven by hopes and dreams. Maybe there was once a countryside, a village with green and fertile meadows. Now we return to find only the remains of a disused scenery. We pursue a fiction, that of a peaceful rural life. We search for beauty in a landscape where we do not belong, where time seems to have stopped still. We live our own transition, our fragile utopia, trying to understand what we are doing here and who we are.”

Juan_Aballe_05_oRestaurante “La Tía Pura”, La Mancha, 2011

Juan_Aballe_06_oDani and Marisol, 2012

Juan_Aballe_07_7_oAutumn landscape, Navarre, 2012

Juan_Aballe_08_oHome by a tree, Pyrenees, Navarre, 2012

Juan_Aballe_09_oHorse, Collado Hermoso, 2013

Juan_Aballe_10_oEva, 2012

Juan_Aballe_11_oRiverscape, Sierra Norte, 2012

Juan_Aballe_12_oJulián, 2012

Juan_Aballe_13_oTank and olive trees, La Mancha, 2011

Juan_Aballe_14_oMarta and Uma, 2012

Juan_Aballe_15_oPath to Karina’s place, 2012

To view more of Juan’s work please visit his website.