a place a dreamt as real,
an island in naked white
Ibiza Blanco Desnudo (Ibiza Naked White) is a dream willed into existence. It’s my personal quest in search of an island located in the world of legends, somewhere between fiction and reality, between my mind and the world. Thus the resulted photographs flow smoothly and fluidly between the staged and the spontaneous and unpredictable. They put doubts in our minds making us see Ibiza in a more suggestive and evocative way than factual.
It is an Ibiza of crystal clear water, secluded coves, white houses scattered in an idyllic countryside and a careless life style. A proposal that idyllic places and, in a larger sense, the potential for happiness, can and do exist. It’s an island untouched by mass tourism in the hope to raise awareness among the public on its side effects. For that matter, this is not a work of heated, literal protest, but a work of indirect and metaphorical reflexion. If seeing is believing, my goal is that each individual exposed to this “naked white” Ibiza will, within her own realm, try to bring it to life.
Four years in the making Ibiza Blanco Desnudo is the first installment of a planned trilogy on the island. My photo essays may last for years, with direct and constant contact with the depicted object, with whom I interact closely, thus allowing me to intervene on the scene from an informed point of view. I believe that what turns access into learning is research, time and patience, the result, is sincere and intimate. They are images which invite contemplation so that we can abandon ourselves to the flow of associations of ideas that we raise.
Ibiza Blanco Desnudo (Ibiza naked white) is Juan Barte’s quest to find the Ibiza that occupies our collective imaginary. Where is this imagined Ibiza? Does it exist? Does it lie beyond the surface of the glitter and glamour perceived by our modern gaze? Barte’s quest encompasses a series of thirty-five photographic images that are a meditative response to these questions. His lens constructs an imagined Ibiza pulled from his dreams and the shared memories of an idealized past.
Barte avoids color, choosing his expression in black and white, using it to contrast and define his vision of a dreamed space, rustic, natural, and pristine. Grainy textures add an apparent sense of nostalgia. But it is not the photographer’s intent to present or feign a documentary approach. He seeks rather to evoke the feel and sensation that infuses his island vision. His images are vignettes of his dreamscape, indirect, glimpses of a world impossible to capture in its entirety. His portrayal of the feminine is an anchor to his imagined place. It represents the omnipresence of the Ibiza spirit. It exists, Barte seems to say, the spirit, this dream. Ibiza, blanco desnudo, pure, does exists.
-Rodney Gorme-Obien, MLS. Special Collections & Archives at Keene State, New Hampshire.