March 23, 2010


Published today in ADN Newspaper, Madrid, print version.

I recently took part in a collective exhibition , "INCOMODOS" comissioned by Ciuco Gutierrez with 3 other artists: Alvaro Rojas, Ariadna Arnés and Mara León at Cero Art Gallery.

I participated with two large prints of "Estranged Sex", Estranged Sex III (below with my mother) and Estranged Sex VI (above) and "Estranged Sex- Video 1: The couple".

An article about the exhibition appeared today in a the Spanish newspaper ADN. There have been several reviews in different culture magazines, as well as many online references, but to my knowledge that was the first time there was an article in a newspaper.

It's good news. There seem to be a free space for emotional pornography in the public arena... Now the emotional pornography isn't my term, I don't even agree with it, but that's the article's title..

A quick translation would be:
"The uncomfortable attracts attention. Art has learnt to play with what the observer wants and does not want to see. The message that accompanies the exhibition "these images can hurt your sensibility" (something along the lines of viewer discretion recommended) acts as an instant appeal... The work of these four photographers confront us with day to day experiences, in a sort of emotional pornography, that does not intend to accomodate the desires of the observer....(then she goes on describing the images and says) The images lack the intention to convey anything specific, they simply seek the grin/ wince. Provoking images that attract attention through discomfort".

I am slightly reluctant to accept the possibility that someone can accurately state others intentions, but yet again this is only a personal note.

Thinking about it, I definately want to provoke discomfort and catch the attention of the observer through creating an uneasy and ackward mood, in sticky and ironic pictures that confront us with what we consider shameful and pathetic yet very human and humane. All this for an utter purpose: that of reflecting upon human sexuality and eventually constructing a better, more inclusive and natural one...

Should this person had read the text that accompanies the pictures, the flyers that are handed over at the gallery, visited our websites, or contacted us, she would have realised that each of us had indeed communicative intentions.

So now I wonder, if this statement relates to public opinion on modern art (modern art does not mean anything, modern art simply seeks to provoke some reaction for the sake of it, for some sort of tautological self feeding artistic endeavour or delayed post adolescent rebellion outburst...) or these thought's arent general and just the journalist's.

It's interesting to say the least.

March 21, 2010

Estranged Sex- Tea Bagging

I had planned this shot for over a month now.

Seems easy to do, yet not so easy to find people willing to put their testicles over your face!

Why would I want to do this picture. Same as with the others from Estranged Sex.

Ever since someone told me about the tea bagging endeavour, I was intrigued by it. It repulsed me of course, it was one of this things that automatically make you fell you angry and disgusted. Maybe even so more if you are a woman, Yet there was something very funny about it, especially if could envisage youself in the place of the owner of the tea bagging testicles.

One of the main purposes of this series is not only to challenge people's ideas and feelings about various aspects of sexual life, but primarily to challenge mines. If there is something i feel i dont understand and i feel disgust towards, now that is interesting and shall be explored.

When you face the things that maybe frighten or repulse you, it's somehow liberating. I find that understanding, humour and honesty do help me live a freer life where I am not trapped in my own taboos. Dont get me wrong, if someone ever tea bags me and I wake up and likely quick their balls with my forehead. Understanding does NOT mean accepting, does NOT mean you have to like it, it just means you are no longer stuck in your disgust, fear, or anger.

Also we live our lifes with much drama, and to be fair, we have a point. Life is full of misery and pain all the way round, yet there is something very ridiculous and enjoyable about life too, which I aim to rescue within this series.

Below the formal text that accompany my series:

“Estranged” refers to someone or something who was formerly close and no longer is. With a broad and holistic understanding of sexuality and sex and after years of honest and stark introspection and reflection upon existence and society begins “Estranged Sex”: a work about a sexuality that is both strange and estranged, natural and alienated.
"Estranged sex" suggests an ironic, critical and rarefied approach to sexuality. Sexuality is understood as a psychosocial and biological entity present on each and every aspect of individuals existence, it is a vast and comprehensive understanding of the term that gives meaning to this series.
“Estranged Sex” is not a distorted reflection of reality given by a subjective mirror but more the reaction to such reality. Equally, it is not a modern and sexually liberated statement, but rather a fight for a freer understanding. What I propose is a reflection upon sexual taboos, the deconstruction of pornography, the naturalization of what's humane and the normalization of the alienated, the legitimation of female sexuality' s goodness and its understanding as something vast and complete. I am thus challenging the established boundaries upon sexuality and defying society's compulsive obsession to control, condemn and restrict human nature.
Human beings are presented here in all their pathetic splendour, tragic vulnerability and endearing humanity, as a familiar being silenced on his doubts and rarities, alienated and absent minded. We observe it doubting in its quotidian spaces whereby he reflects back to us a shameful reality where the rarification of what's natural coexists with the normalization of what's weird. The dislocated and confused being, censored in his daily experiences, tries to find ways to reconcile its animality, corporeality and desires with social intrusions, with no luck, mindlessly getting on extraordinary circumstances, facing equally, what's most beautiful and most ugly of experience.

Lets get it over with: The first entry

I have longed for long to create my own blog where I could explain details of recent pictures, post the making of pics or videos, post entries about my trips with the stories that accompany, publications, prices, think out loud about issues surrounding photography and video, maybe share tips, lighting schemes, ask for feedback or help and so on.
I do have big expectations!
I wanted to create it as part of my website Sandra Torralba but somehow technically speaking I am finding it hard, so rather than waiting 3 more years until my html and flash knowledge improves, I have decided to begin at once.
Summing up you can visit my work at: (this is a profesional website I had to set up, so that potential employers won't have to necesarily see some of my most controversial photographic series)
I also have another blog that I created for a training in Cinematographic Lighting Techniques ( Iluminación Cinematografica ) I took early this year.
It's in Spanish though, full of jokes and stories, but there are also graphic lighting schemes you may understand even if you don't speak Spanish.