“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.”
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. Country Fictions deals with my relationship with the rural environment and the emotions brought about by the possibility of taking that big step.
In the tradition of the North American photographic exploration of the relation between modern man and nature –but reinterpreting the genre within the Iberian context-, my work also reflects on the photographic language itself and how we are influenced by previous representations and preconceived ideas about rural utopias.
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.
(c) Photographs and text by Juan Aballe