By Jose Carlos de Santiago
Ruby Pilar is a Spanish-Bolivian photographer who has created a new concept of printing on canvas in her work. Her most recent exhibition, "Geometría de los cuerpos" ("Geometry of bodies") includes photographs of dancers from the National Ballet of Cuba and is composed of 18 pieces of different sizes. The exhibit can be seen in the lobby of the theater "Karl Marx", in Havana.
How and why did you decide to make this new concept photo printing?
I have decided that it was a new way to print the photo, giving a hint of old painting, which was what I wanted, because they were very intimate moments, dark moments backstage at rehearsals.
For me it was important to put the viewer in the atmosphere and what better way to do that by printing on canvas, to give it a touch of oil, looking for old frames; but at the same time I wanted to wake up a little to the viewer by placing geometric, modern images on the bodies of the dancers.
How long it took to prepare this exhibition?
- I have been photographing dancers for months so that they do not have the nerve to be with me and the camera because, whether professional, always a camera impresses and makes us nervous. I went many times until they got used to the camera and started in February or March to photograph them.
Almost a year ago.
- Yes, almost a year ago to get a little more intimate with people.
After this you made the selection of frames for these pictures. How did you do it?
- I bought the frames some time ago, including some that I brought from outside, the smallest. Then I went looking for frames, not for this exhibition, but simply because I like them. I've been collecting frames up to the amount that I have now decided I would serve well for this exhibition.
You have adapted the size of the photos to the frame.
- Exactly. Each photo comes for the frame that was there and each frame had to be restored, fixed, because they are old, they were weak and swollen on one side, a piece of wood was missing. It has been difficult to assemble them.
How many pieces are presented in this exhibition?
- 18 works of very considerable size to a very small one.
You have been in Cuba for two years now. How many exhibitions have you already done?
- I have the solo exhibitions Rostros de flamenco en Cuba, (Faces of flamenco in Cuba), Malecón número 1, La vida de Janet (Janet’s Life) and this is Geometría de los cuerpos (Geometry of bodies)/.
They are basically based on what strikes me: the daily life of the people, whether artists, people who have no artistic or graphic representation in society. What attracts me is the daily and ordinary life of people.
Do you like working in black and white?
- I like it a lot, but I decided that this exhibition would be in color.