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Cristina de Middle

Preparing the scene for the picture.

Today we are going to immerse ourselves in the work of the Spanish artist Christina de Middle. She is a documentary photographer; She had worked as a photojournalist from different Spanish newspapers and NGO’s. Now she is doing a more personal and artistic work, and she lives between Mexico and Brazil developing her projects.

She began to be recognized internationally in 2012 thanks to her work "The Afronauts" where she explores the story of a failed space program in Zambia in the 1960s. A little-known story but one that she represents and stages in her own way to build a new narration using her imagination and her wonderful photography.

Cristina comments on her work on the 30y3 website: “as a photojournalist, I have always tried to offer an eccentric vision of the present, avoiding the old topics dealt with through channels and assumed forms. In my personal projects, I propose a reflection to place myself, without the ties of veracity and documentary, in the fuzzy border that separates reality from fiction. I am interested in reflecting on those manifestations that are false, but seem real and those that are true, but seem false ”.

“Afronautas is based on the documentation of an impossible dream that only lives in images. Starting from this incredible but certain news from 50 years ago, I reconstruct the scenes that could have documented it then and reinforce its veracity by adding to that certainty my personal burden and the fruit of my imagination”.

Cristina made a photo-book with her work, for her: "it is a book in which all the narrative weight is in the images and there are no words."

The Spanish television TVE made her an interesting interview where the artist talks about her work: “I started playing, almost secretly, making my own version of the realities that I lived every day in the press and, from there my personal work with which I had the most fun began to gain more weight until I left the press”.

Starting from an idea that the artist has, we can see how she uses photography to tell the story she wants, playing with sarcasm, criticizing the world and the absurdity of the reality in which we live. A great example of this can be seen in her play "The Perfect Man." Here he tells the story of Dr. Ashok who decided to go to the cinema instead of going to work and saw the movie "Modern Times" by Charles Chaplin 4 times. “Dr. Aswani could not be the perfect man because the perfect man works and helps make his country great again. The perfect man gets up early and goes to work, greets his wife from the car before getting into the daily traffic jam to go to the office, where he stays 8 hours to support the whole family”.

As we can see in these photographs, she prepares the staging and provides her characters with the costumes to re-assemble the world that she wants to show us. She paints the face of the "perfect man" as if he were a Smurf, those little, good and obedient beings that we saw in the cartoons of our childhood to frame them in the Chaplin film.

She represents that working man in the factory, in his daily work, trapped by the machine and, looking at the world from within because there is no time to do anything else.

She also incorporates another interesting element such as the masks with the faces of Charlot with the phrase "Be good, be happy", a phrase that in this context provides a sarcastic and critical tone.

Cristina de Middle shows us another way of creating art using photography. A brilliant proposal that I hope will serve you as inspiration for your next projects.


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