Bernard Plossu

Efímeros, ​Prologue (2006)

Photography must not be fashionable, spectacular or showy.

Photography is a powerful language, direct and strong.

So long as it resists the urge to seduce.

 

When I saw the portfolio of Jose Guerrero, put together as a little pocket book, called then "Panta rei, the edge of the city", I knew that I was dealing with exactly those aspects I love about photography: directness and authenticity.

 

The urban boundary is a key issue for our times, because the boundary shifts so quickly in the rush of buildings and neighbourhoods which developers spread like mushrooms.

 

The atmosphere created between that which disappears and that which appears speaks of our times. Guerrero uses poetry, if one dare use the word of a social subject, to photograph things that have recently been constructed: swimming pools, roads that lead precisely nowhere, indistinct terrain, and already the appearance of the future, with the first blocks of cement… The breathtaking mixture of all that on landscapes of natural light, show clearly the apocalyptic side of our era: we believe in dreams, and photography reminds us that to attain them, disorder reigns.

 

There is also strength in a photograph when it doesn't matter whether the subject is in black or white or in colour. Guerrero photographs in colour, but with the sobriety of black and white photography. His work recalls the work of his predecessor, the great Lewis Baltz, who photographed the construction works in Park City, USA.

 

Guerrero, for his part, shows us the mutations of his country. He shows us what we might call ugly places (or places that have become ugly), and yet… his photographs are magnificent and lead towards the poetic side of sensibility and that is when we know we have before us the work of an author of great talent.

 

His images are very strong. Quite simply, the sense of nothingness, just that, on the corner of streets that no longer exist.

 

Between two times.