START POINT PRIZE – Prize for emerging artists

Ismael Teira

Ismael Teira’s three photographs are symbolic shortcuts, somewhat reduced concentrations of the content they conceal. Each can stand alone as an independent work, yet at the same time several characteristics unite them, thus creating three parts of a single story. One of these is Galicia, the nation in the northwest of Spain where he was born; another is the motif of travel or the polarity of “nature – civilisation”. One of the centres of Galicia is the famous pilgrimage site Santiago de Compostela. Over the course of several years, Teira conducted highly specific research of a phenomenon that remains outside the interest of local historians: with an almost scientific approach, he charted and described the local shortcuts that have been trodden into the grass and has summarised the results in an original art book. After all, serious urban development and psychological studies have also focused on shortcuts. This is where the poetic term “paths of desire” started to become established for him. As it spontaneously reflected the natural behaviour of the masses, Ismael Teira decided to also use the term as the name of his project. We can find similar themes in another work by the artist relating to the mountains of Galicia, where a newly built path to the wind farms erected in the untouched landscape crisscrosses the time-worn path carved by a herd of wild horses. Finally, the third part of the story is composed of photographs of the body of a bridge which remained as the sole trace of a defunct farm that had been engulfed by nature. (Marcel Fišer)

Born in Boiro (La Coruña, Spain) in 1987. Education: Degree in Art History, University of Santiago de Compostela. MFA, Universitat Politècnica de València.