Caleb J Adams was born in New Mexico and raised in California. His images are captured with a straightforward honest approach, emphasizing color and graphic compositions. Often focusing on the smaller instances of everyday life, he documents visual patterns and cultural customs to investigate and convey a larger concept. With his interest in design and documentation, he is often in pursuit of authentic moments with people and engages with objects in a playful manner, creating interactions that provide viewers with unique insights and new possibilities.
After graduating from the Fine Art program at UCLA in 2015, he remained living and working in Los Angeles until September 2019 when he relocated to New York City.
The rituals of Sant Joan merge medieval traditions with equestrian heroics and are completely outside my everyday realm.
For the first time I put myself at the center of the fiesta, which takes place in Ciutadella, Menorca at the end of June. Over the centuries it has evolved into a celebration of both Saint John the Baptist and traditional Menorcan horsemanship. It is a four day event with live music, dancing, carnival rides, and Pomadas (a mixture of local gin and lemonade).
Once horses and riders have been blessed by the local priest, the people of the town are alerted by a flute playing, drum banging rider on a donkey. Together they set the tempo for a song that repeats from dusk to dawn, leading the 30-50 horses and riders in a parade through town. Entering homes for a drink, competing in galloping games, and performing in the jaleo – a trick where the horses rear up and dance on their hind legs egged on by the crowd. Every year people get hurt, and every year people look forward to swaying en masse as they stand shoulder to shoulder cheering on the passing horses and their riders. The pride and camaraderie throughout the community is radiant and cherished by locals and tourists alike.
Amidst the noise of a daring crowd, the intensity of riled up stallions, and overheated riders – striking moments of stillness and serenity emerge. Deviating attention away from the spectacle and to the visual patterns and cultural customs.
Rigorous observance of the rules and traditions make it both an honor and privilege to ride and participate in Sant Joan. Riders and their horses must be from a farm in Ciutadella and are organized in a cavalry. The youngest, bravest riders in the front, the older riders in the middle, and the noblility and the priest at the rear. The formal customs and traditional gatherings during the fiesta reflect a disappearing social structure while preserving the original symbolic significance.
To view more of Caleb J Adams’s work please visit his website.