"Mictlán" is an experimental jewel that crystallizes in an original artist's book, printed in a signed edition and limited to 100 copies. It is presented in an amate case and the body consists of nine sheets, each with a different type of Mexican papers: kraft, mantequilla, revolution, education, bond, estraza, mina gris, among others. The graphic design has been carried out by Ramon Pez, who has surpassed himself in one of his most brilliant achievements".
In his exploration of photography in connection with values of truth and memory, in recent years Joan Fontcuberta has been developing the Trauma project, a poetic and conceptual journey diving into historical photographic archives. In them Fontcuberta is interested in those images in a traumatic state, sick images due to deterioration caused by moisture, mold or microorganisms. Images that are in the last breath of the representation, reduced to ghostly traces in which the memory fades: broken its link with reality, the visual information is lost and its status as a document vanishes.
In 2019 Fontcuberta went to a selection of Mexican archives and made more than a thousand shots from rickety glass negatives. In this beautiful, tragic and somber Mexican suite, gleams of the country's history still appear: the Revolution, dramatic milestones, public figures, social and family life ... The set of these graphic registers covers from portraits of Francisco Villa and Emiliano Zapata and executions to weddings and baptisms and identity photos, from folklore and traditions to the landscape and monumental heritage. Thus, it confronts us with a mosaic of situations and genres, from the family album to photojournalism, from scientific to pornographic photography, which accounts for the texture of social and historical narratives, but which, on the other hand, allows metaphorically extrapolating the ancestral Mictlán cosmology.
Through nine notebooks, the nine stages of the underworld that the deceased had to go through in order to pass each of the specific tests and continue advancing until reaching eternal rest are evoked. In this journey, the body fleshes out until the soul is completely liberated, in a process that suggests the progressive dematerialization of the photograph itself.