TRIBES – Lucía Herrero
“Tribes” is a social analysis, a raw portrait of occidental society.
Groups of families and friends set themselves up by the sea equipped to spend a day in the sun. All this, harmoniously juxtaposed, seems like a poem of customs that reveal through humour, colour and tenderness, the profundity of a whole society.
These photos of modern-day beach groups are inspired by the studio portraits of ancient tribes who proudly posed in traditional costumes next to their prized possessions. The sky and the sea become the painted backdrop of the studio and the sand seems as if sprinkled on the studio floor. The lighting and the theatricality of the groups add an element of fantasy to the portraits of real people in their natural surroundings. This enlightens a banal situation and elevates it to a state of exception. I call this way of social photography “Antropología Fantástica” (Magic Anthropology).
This series talks about the human condition during a moment on peaceful holiday, their pride to be there, their honesty and vulnerability. The objectively limited surrounding offers a complete extract of the essential.
This portrait of the “Spanish Tragicomedy” is meant to have many different interpretations. On the one hand it talks about the Occidental middle class, which is suffering from an identity crisis. These images make us wonder what is changing and what will remain. On the other hand, they challenge today’s concept of beauty.
The photos were taken along the Spanish coast and people were asked to participate in situ.
Ten minutes for a flashing set up, balancing colour, shapes and hierarchies. All that gets dissolved afterwards leaving as the only witness a group portrait, a poetic painting… a human allegory.
I develop in photography what I call “Antropología Fantástica”. I portrait in a documentary and theatrical style, people or groups with fantasy and dramatic elements. It is a photo-event in which the actors interpret themselves.
Other Antropología Fantástica projects are: Species, Reindeer-Man, Equation, Tribute to La Bata, Home, Sweet Home: behind the closed doors of Quarantine.