Past Exhibition


Xavier Ribas - 8 October to 24 November 2009

Xavier Ribas, from the series Nomads, 2008.

Xavier Ribas, from the series Nomads, 2008.

Opening Wednesday 7th October 7-9pm.

A solo exhibition by Catalan photographer Xavier Ribas, held jointly at Belfast Exposed and PLACE. The exhibition focuses on recent work presented in grid format and draws on Ribas’ longstanding interest in urban structure, archaeology and anthropology.  

Habitus (2008) serves as departure point for the exhibition. The images taken in Barcelona over a decade, explore changing notions of centre and periphery within the urban context. A grid structure encourages formation of narratives and physical assumptions about the areas pictured and their relationship to one another. 

Nomads (2008), documents the methods of dissuasion taken by corporate developer Nesco, to evict some sixty gypsy families from an abandoned industrial site in the Poblenou district of Barcelona. Over the course of a few days, the developers drilled and lifted the concrete floor of the site, leaving behind a kind of ‘horizontal wall’ as a defensive structure to keep the land empty. The damaged landscapes left behind, demonstrate the economic value of destruction to control space.

MMDCCLXI A.V.C. is a triptych showing archaeological remains of a pre-Christian necropolis and Roman villa located in the underground car park of a shopping mall in the city of Tarragona. Removed during the works, these significant archeological finds were later relocated to the car park's lower deck, some twenty metres below the level of their first discovery, a sudden descent equivalent to thousands of years of subsistence in pre-modern conditions. A similar forward acceleration in the effects of time is noticeable in signs of the rapid deterioration of the remains, effected by carbon monoxide emitted from the city's buses and cars. According to the Roman calendar, which begins in 753 BC, the year of the foundation of Rome, MMDCCLXI A.V.C is the year, 2008. ( AVC standsfor Ab urbe condita, 'from the founding of the city')

HABITUS is shown in the context of Belfast Exposed’s ongoing examination of the city through archive and gallery projects, which explore social and political currents in ‘post conflict’ Belfast and the complex relationships between past and present, inscribed on public, private and commercial spaces.

A series of events, salons, artist and architects’ talks will accompany this exhibition, examining questions of urban development as it impacts on the city, alongside explorations of memory, conflict and the attachment to place.

Biography Xavier Ribas (b. Barcelona, 1960) lives and works in Brighton and Barcelona. With a background in social anthropology he graduated in Documentary Photography at the Newport School of Art and Design in 1993. Ribas is currently Senior Lecturer in Photography at the University of Brighton. He has exhibited widely and is represented by Galeria ProjecteSD in Barcelona.

Habitus is supported by Arts Council Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council, Department for Social Development and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.