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2 junio - 2 julio 2005
Calle Alameda 18, Madrid

Santiago Olmo - Larache 1
Santiago Olmo - Larache 2
Santiago Olmo - Larache 3
Santiago Olmo - Larache 4
Gabriela Grech - Plaza de España
Gabriela Grech - Calle 17 de julio
Gabriela Grech - Casino-WafaBank
Gabriela Grech - Villasinda
Gabriela Grech - Cine Ideal
Gabriela Grech - La Plaza
Gabriela Grech - Grech Consulado Español


Larache, located on the Moroccan Atlantic coast, in a natural environment of great beauty marked by the Lukus River estuary, is a city with a lot of history, crossroads of cultures but also occupations and sieges.
In the 20th century it became one of the most important cities of the Spanish protectorate in Morocco, due to its economic dynamism and its growth as a modern city.

After independence and like other surrounding cities, it went through a crisis, the Spanish and Jewish population decreased, its population growing a lot due to rural exodus, with the construction of new neighborhoods, and agriculture developing with new irrigation systems. Its port currently hosts an important fishing industry. Tourism, given its extensive historical heritage and its beaches, has a wide field to develop. The city became the provincial capital within the wilaya of Tangier-Tetouan. In recent years  the motorway linking it with Rabat and Tangier has been inaugurated, which  will boost the city's economy. Work is underway on the modernization and expansion of the port, on the construction of houses and on the improvement of popular neighborhoods.

Currently the city is developing with the effort and contribution of remittances from emigrants in Europe.
At the entrance to Larache is one of the first resting points for emigrants traveling from Europe to their towns of origin: the rest area opens up as a large service and parking park next to the new neighborhoods of houses with types of villas and chalets, and apartment buildings.

The project establishes a dialogue between two different but complementary perspectives on the city, proposing a confluence between memory and present:


Gabriela Grech, who has lived in Larache during her childhood and adolescence, proposes a reinterpretation of the city from her own personal memory, considering the city of the Spanish protectorate and its current situation. The deterioration of the buildings, the streets, the shops, is something that has been painfully felt on each return. All of this has prompted him to somehow recover the memory of a city of which hardly a trace remains today: the Spanish Larache, a small redoubt that is increasingly decrepit and dilapidated among the avalanche of new buildings, but which still retains a certain nobility that They bear witness to a splendid past.

His project consists of contrasting archival images of the settings of his childhood with current photographs of those same places. The pieces consist of a color image mounted on aluminum on which is superimposed, at some distance, a B/W transparency mounted on methacrylate of the bygone city. It is about establishing a dialogue between both situations, as well as a recovery of those spaces.


For his part, Santiago Olmo addresses the new neighborhoods that have been emerging since the mid-nineties, apartment buildings that reserve the ground floor arcades for commercial premises and neighborhoods of single-family homes, all of them largely built by emigrants who work in Europe. The pieces are panoramic views of a rough and chaotic urban landscape, but dense with the vitality of its inhabitants, which emerges through the colors of the facades and dividing walls. The transformation of the city is glimpsed in the new shapes of the buildings, which transmit an imagery halfway between local tradition and models imported from emigration.

Two very different photographic discourses are embedded in this project: on the one hand, a vision of the new city, with its connotations of social transformation, the effect of emigration, modernization and progress, which poses an analytical distancing, and on the other, a personal and subjective vision of a decrepit city that was once flourishing, and where Jean Genet arrived, to live his personal escape from the French metropolitan conventions, to die and be buried in his cemetery over the sea.







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