The jury recognizes the career of the Catalan professional since the 1970s, raising with her work “pressing questions in the social and political reality of late Francoism, which are still relevant today”
For “a career in the field of photography at street level, developed from the 70s, which raises pressing questions in the late-Franco social and political reality, which are still relevant today “, the jury awarded this Friday to the Catalan photographer Pilar Aymerich the National Photography Award 2021, endowed with 30,000 euros.
According to the jury’s assessment, Aymerich’s work “germinates from an ethical notion in which fragility is the starting point of a photographic narrative”.
Aymerich (Barcelona, 1943) studied at the drama school and it was in London where he entered the field of photography, later expanding his technical knowledge in Paris. Specializing in reporting and photographic portraits, she began her professional career in 1968 in Barcelona collaborating with the CIS agency at a time when censorship still existed.
After Franco’s death
His work as street photographer it achieved a greater presence as of 1975, in line with the visibility that social movements achieved after Franco’s death. His graphic work has appeared over the years in various periodicals such as ‘Triunfo’, ‘Destino’, ‘Cambio 16’, ‘El País’, ‘Fotogramas’ or ‘Qué Leer’.
According to the note of the Ministry of Culture, Aymerich “incorporates feminist approaches and reflections into his own praxis, something really unusual in the panorama of those years in Spain. He develops his own militancy and photographs from within the main actions and demands of the movement ( strikes, rallies, demonstrations, etc.). His images represent a radical deconstruction of the practice of modern photojournalism: first he mixes with the environment, he understands the situation and then photography. Thus he puts into practice an ethic in which photography is understood as a relational and intersubjective practice in which one works with people “.
Aymerich, who in 2005 received the Cross of Sant Jordi, has also collaborated in publications dedicated to Catalan women such as Montserrat Roig, Federica Montseny, Mercè Rodoreda, Caterina Albert and Maria Aurèlia Capmany and that have been reflected in various exhibitions. Since 1974 he has collaborated in audiovisual media programs such as TVE and has carried out pedagogical work teaching photography to young people and at the Institute of Photographic Studies of Catalonia.
Part of his photographic work was acquired by the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in 2018.