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Isabel Ivars

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Isabel takes pictures that could be postcards. Her serie "Sitiados" consists of images of places like London's Lancaster Gate, Notting Hill and Kew Gardens. They are all landmark locations; recognizable sites good tourists visit while in town. But, though easy to identify at simple glance, they do not provide you with the gratification you would expect from them. It is not because they are unpopulated, as removing by - walkers is a technique often used in postcards imagery - in an attempt to enhance the site's monumental character and eliminate possible impressions of temporality.
It is the fact that Ivars has subtly modified the landscape, erasing some elements and inserting others in their place or elsewhere. There is enough left to allow the space maintain a certain familiarity, and enough changed to mine that familiarity and create a feeling of discomfort.
Confronted with the images, one feels that the knowledge one had about the spaces wasn't quite right, and the certainties one had about what the experience of the location should be like have vanished.The act of reading the image - and reading the city with it - becomes a challenging task.The postcard image offers past, present, and the possibility of a future, but the sense of history and its rules always pervades. In Isabel's photographs, the modification of the landscape opens a different dynamic. By disrespectfully changing the biuldings, Ivars liberates the image from the narrative structure of history. Creating a distance, suspending the possibility of complete recognition, and causing an intense sense of unrest. But here, the feeling of disquiet is just the symptom of a newly found freedom.
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