5th Architecture and Photography Conference in Zaragoza

architecture and photography Zaragoza

Ignoring the upheaval into which the crisis has catapulted our sector would be an unwise move, especially with regard to professionals who have suddenly been moved to the second tier in the guild, where the echo remains, awaiting to improvise new avenues of action that help bring in a commission.

We here at Fragments do not hold the keys to success, but we are convinced that one essential fact such as the exchange of knowledge contains many of the active principles in making a feasible action plan. Therefore, let’s allow for optimism. Let’s let coincidences do their job. We seek to share experiences and professional careers rich in battles won and other war stories.

Sense títol

We had the chance to do so yet another year at the University of Zaragoza, where the Fragments team went on Thursday the 28th of May of this year to attend the 5th Architecture and Photography Conference promoted by FAME: Research Project: Modern Photography and Architecture in Spain, with the support of PhotoEspaña and the Zaragoza Town Hall. At the head of FAME is the architect and photographer Dr Iñaki Bergera, who served as the coordinator and moderator of the event.

This time the Pilar Sinués Hall, located in the university’s Paraninfo building, hosted four notable veterans:

The sculptor and scholar Juan Bordes illustrated to the audience a sample of the first architectural and landscape photography presses. This leap in time culminated with the compilation of a collection of anonymous images that reveal the passage leading to the current cornerstones of our art. And speaking about an art, but more specifically about its poor practices, the cultural journalist Llàtzer Moix, using his customary irony, sought to remind us of the impossibility of forgetting Santiago Calatrava. He discussed the media repercussions of the “star architect”, the author of the controversial City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia. Today he is a man worshipped and abominated in equal measure worldwide, the father of an extensive list of works with structural problems. He has a notorious affection for over-costs and budgetary deviations and is also associated with cases of corruption in the highest circles. We can find a sensible balance in the proposal of the architect and photographer Duccio Malagamba, who opened the afternoon with a consideration: the human presence in architectural photography. In short, it is a versatile and not at all superficial resource that is capable of completing the meaning of what we see by expanding the boundaries of architectural photography, thus turning an image into a scene. Finally, the photographer and artist Juan Rodríguez took the audience on a survey of his extensive photographic work, a broad sampling of partnerships, such as the ones with the renowned Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza, along with publications, exhibitions and projects that draw from many disciplines yet remain faithful to his characteristic play of lights and shadows in black and white.

The session concluded late in the afternoon with a round table, although it was missing Bordes, who had to duck out to leave for Madrid.


This might have been the last year of the conference, as Bergera announced at the end of the session.

Even though it is not definitive, the heads of the FAME project, in conjunction with the University of Navarra, are considering the possibility of holding an International Conference in the autumn of 2016 with the goal of disseminating the more artistic and contemporary facet of architectural photography. The event would last two days and would be divided into four thematic sections with the participation of speakers and guests from all over.

We at Fragments hope to attend more initiatives of this kind which foster the ties among enshrined and emerging talents, proving that architectural photography is not composed of a single, univocal formula, and initiatives that reach an audience enthused by the new dimensions of the sector.

For now, however, we will have to wait until October 2015, when the event is expected to be confirmed.