In public is the ninth installment in Cristóbal Hara’s collection The trivial essays.
“If you become a public figure, you run the risk of being transformed into a statue (or a caricature), and if you become very famous, your face may end up on a straw doll and you may be burnt during carnival. If you’re a woman, you’ll probably be undressed before being displayed in public.
A photographer’s natural place is behind – not in front of – the camera . The profession of photographer isn’t the most fitting to become famous, and the fact that you are well known outside of your profession doesn’t necessarily mean that your colleagues respect you. How many people know who Robert Frank, Diane Arbus, Joan Colom or William Eggleston are? Any football player or second rate singer will always be more famous than the best photographers.
Let photographers stick to their last.”
Photographic language, specifically the language of photography that strives to be documentary, is limited by many rules and conventions. The work of Cristobal Hara focuses on the search for alternatives to the conventions of his time. In The trivial essays, the essay form, naturally shorter than a book, allows him to isolate and deal with different aspects of a photographer’s craft by illustrating them with images, some of which are known while others have never been shown, that constitute a sample of his work of over 40 years.
Cristóbal Hara was born in Madrid in 1946. After a childhood and youth spent living in The Philippines, Germany and the U.S.A, he settled back in Spain in 1980. In 1985 he abandoned black and white photography for colour, showing the considerable influence of the Spanish pictorial and cultural tradition. This was a change which marked a turning point in the search for his stylistic language.
In 2022 receives Premio Nacional de Fotografía in Spain.