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Kursala according to Jesús Micó


Jesús Micó (Cádiz, 1962) is a really versatile photographer. Almost any area in which photography has a place, you can find his mark.
His most recent milestone is a doctorate in Fine Arts from the University of Barcelona, ??although he has achieved many accomplishments during a life devoted to the creation, dissemination and teaching of photography.
He is also the head of the Kursala, launch pad of many new photographic talents.

Your activity in the world of photography is varied. You're a photographer, teacher and curator, among other things. If you had to choose only one of these facets, which should be the one and why?
I think I would take the teacher. But in any case, the three feed off each other and, fortunately, are not exclusive to each other but quite the opposite. There is a feedback among them and complement, nurture and enhance each other. The three make up my professional profile in photography. And I do not prioritize between them. It is nonsense to me and my conception of photography as a whole that needs to be addressed from different points of view: theoretical research, criticism, teaching, curating and personal creation. It's as if photography was my main knowledge area, wich I access from different doors that, basically, all lead to the same core, the authorship and intention (ideological and aesthetic) undergone by that medium.

Focusing on you as a photographer, after checking your work seems evident that the human body fascinates you, actually you have a Degree in Medicine. Why the body draws you in and what contributes to your work?
The body is the foundation of our identity, our biography. When a human body is photographed, our views on important issues such as identity issues, biography, health, illness, pain, pleasure, desire, sex, carnality, affections, tensions, fear, male, female, the old, the young, life, death etc., are being put to the surface. Everything, absolutely everything, passes through the body. It's not a minor issue, therefore.


You have spent many years in your project Natura Hominis: Escenarios. Still working on it?
Yes, it is a vital project, a personal diary. And although there are times, like now, when I take fewer photos, it remains.

During yout photography viewings is easy to hear your welcome "the adult world." How is that adult world of photography? How and when you get to him?
When one begins to be aware that the goals have a price and it is necessary waiting more than initially expected. We thought we had come to the area to pay the toll and get into the higway of the much desired public recognition and suddenly we find that we are on secondary roads (which is not so bad, on the other hand : in them you can learn to drive in a way more thorough, safe and secure). So that phrase reflects nothing new under the sun. But I use it when it is good to remind all this to young passionate young photographers who think their work is mature, but it is not. If the warning works, that time usually coincides with the realization that our work is not as special as we thought and that there are many other equivalent circulating around the world. Suddenly we drop that kind of naive romanticism that led us to think that what we do was quite exceptional.
I can also answer this question in another way : you get to that moment when you are finally able to see your works / projects without the blind naivete that generates our passion for what we do when we get to actually see our own works as if were seen by different eyes, different eyes to those who created these projects. It's good to get out of ourselves and see our work with some disbelief, with a certain lack of faith in her. That makes us artistically mature.


In case anyone does not know... What are Kursala and its notebooks (Cuadernos)?
The Kursala is the exhibition hall of the University of Cádiz (UCA) I have the honor to curate despite living a thousand miles of it (thanks to the great team behind UCA). We've aimed at promoting new photography. And the Notebooks are photobooks that we publish on each individual exhibition held there.

What criteria do you apply on selecting a job for Cuadernos de la Kursala? Does love at first sight exist?
I'm interested in projects that are revealing, offering a brilliant flash of thought on a given subject (an intelligent vision) or a poetic vision (either moving or either disturbing) or a critical vision, a uncommon vision, an illuminating vision, a suggestive vision etc. Sometimes there is love at first sight. When I saw the Afronautas of Cristina de Middel work in a small and very simple stand she had with other new photographers in Emergent Festival of Lleida, immediately I expressed my absolute interest in that job and my desire to introduce it for the first time in Kursala. That can be understood as love at first sight. Ricardo Cases also was immediate fascination with La Caza del Lobo Congelado. I had seen his work but he did not know him and we introduced by a mutual friend and the crush was immediate.


Among all of the jobs you have published so far, do you feel happier for publishing any of them? What about upcoming projects?
I'm glad I published them all, whether there are some who have become cult collector's items and are totally sold out and that fully satisfies me, I would be stupid not to recognize it. As for what's coming in the next few months: after the current Ouroboros, we are working with Valerio Platania, María Sánchez and Eleazar Ortuño.

Have you ever used multimedia in any of your own exhibitions or those you arrange in the Kursala?
Yes, I have included them in both situations.

How do you see the future of multimedia?
It is a way of exhibition of work as legitimate and attractive as affordable (and thus, democratic and according to the course of time). Author photography is embodied in many possible formats in the modern world and this is one of them (as interesting as any other). Since long, rather than exposure to physical work, in my personal work as a photographer I prioritize public reading format. It is a path that allows me to exhibit my project NH : Escenarios in unable ways to other formats and that far from understanging it as a "minor" way, I consider it the most appropriate for my current work (which is a personal journal with images and texts). I think it may be the best for that type of work: nor conventional exhibition on a wall or a photobook or a website. The video projection in my case is the best way, anytime I can read my texts beside the multimedia. And according to the audience, it seems to work. Not to mention that 20 years ago, when I started to teach my first classes of history, aesthetics and photographic authorship, already used audiovisuals in each of my sessions. Any of my many students over the years can corroborate (always remind me when we meet many years later). I've always been aware of special and attractive climate that is generated in the process of enunciation of a work when it is in this audiovisual format.

The current economic situation has led to closure some photographic events but it seems the Kursala resits, and we are glad.
Well, our budget is modest but dedicated entirely to treat with the utmost care and respect for new authors (I think there's no other room in Spain to do so). And, of course, you can do many things supplying money for personal motivation and desire to do things. "Young" for me is not synonymous with "naive": our authors are the former but not the latter. Our artists are dedicated to Kursala project full time. I'd much rather work with emerging authors who consecrated. It is much more rewarding in every way. And more fun and learn more. And finally, the strength of the room lies on a great team of people working for UCA.


2013 has proved to be a good year. The presentation of a doctoral thesis at the University of Barcelona has been a success and the Reina Sofia Museum has been interested in the Cuadernos de la Kursala. What do you expect from the future?
Professionally humbly continue with my specialized education, promotion, dissemination and dignifying the new photograph of this country (may others take charge of the other photography) and contribute with all my professional abilities and from all fronts I work in to which recognition will not be made late and in a wrong way. It is very necessary. We're not talking about the future of Spanish photography, but about the present, a present that must be addressed with discretion and professionalism. Young photograph is part of the current scene, not only consecrated photography. And someone has to cater to that forgotten but necessary segment (the new one). What happens in the current Spanish photography is an extension of what happens in our society. I mean that some young people are well prepared neglected by institutions and ignored by the system in general. And I think about working with all my strength to break this unhealthy and wrong dynamics. I've been doing it for more than two decades (before Kursala conceived the project Espai Fotogràfic Can Basté the City of Barcelona and I invented the Forum Photo Can Basté in the 90s, but that's another story).

And on a personal level, success for me is something as simple (and thus, enough and large) as to survive with dignity as any other person, but in my case, making it within a professional environment in which it is quite difficult to achieve, the world of art photography (with all due respect to the world of applied photography: fashion, media, advertising, scientific, etc.). I hope to continue to do so as in these past twenty five years. Anything else. Living modestly from the theory and research of photography, teaching (college or not), curating and criticism of author photography. And finally, take pictures without having to meet the criteria of any third party, pictures free from submission to the order. In short, as usual, I don’t need more.

www.jesusmico.com

You can download any Cuaderno de la Kursala from:
http://www.uca.es/extension/creacion/catalogo-exposiciones
















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