Tuétano - Juan Diego Valera

Title: Tuétano.
Publisher: Ca l’Isidret.
Author: Juan Diego Valera.
Pages: 64.
Size: 33,0 x 22,0 cm.
Idea, edition and design (book): Aleix Plademunt & Roger Guaus.
Idea & design (envelope): Estudi Bicoté.
Photography: Juan Diego Valera.
Published: October 2019.
ISBN 978-84-121090-2-3.


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In 2017, Juan Diego Valera wanted to get rid of some undeveloped photographic reels – shot between 2005 and 2016 – and present them under the title “Tuétano”. The work consisted of a box designed especially for the occasion, which contained an undeveloped reel and a text written by the curator Joana Hurtado. Since there were twenty-four undeveloped reels, twenty-four boxes were edited.

It was a compromising decision in a double sense: Juan Diego Valera was performing a generous and risky act, as he was offering what is normally hidden, that is, latent material on a reel shot at an uncertain date and, knowing the author’s work, with the possibility of images with promising content; and at the same time, whoever received the work was faced with the dilemma – which is really the soul of the work – of revealing or not revealing the reel in question.

In 2019, Aleix Plademunt and Roger Guaus, in agreement with Juan Diego Valera, developed ten of the reels, chosen at random, from those that were still available. With the developed images they edited a book of which the photographer himself had absolutely no information until the very day of its public presentation. Until then, Juan had known neither the concept of the book nor the content of any of the images. The presentation was a success in terms of attendance and thrill.

From the material revealed, the book was conceived on the basis of two main ideas: to reveal the author’s world of affective relationships, that is, to focus on what is essential to him, and at the same time to bear witness to the evident split that exists between his roots in Argentina and his survival in Barcelona.

The result was a book that more than a book is a family album, a gift that Aleix and Roger made as a tribute to their friend, a compendium of images of people dear to the photographer at different times, places and situations, all in the purest Juan Diego Valera style, and in which the immeasurable distance between their two worlds – like Cortázar’s “del lado de acá” and “del lado de allá” – is manifested by a disjunctive edition in which, depending on how the book is read, it either opposes one world to the other or, on the contrary, merges them into a single line of narration.

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