Heart of Gold – Visits to the Mennonite communities in America

Hola! I’m in Madrid stuffing myself with the sublime tortilla de patatas and checking out the projects developed this month at Medialab Prado as part of the now illustrious Interactivos? workshop. The theme of this edition is Vision Play, the public presentation is tomorrow June 14 at 6.30 pm and it’s going to be extremely good.

Meanwhile the Photo Espana Festival is all over the city. Here’s just an appetizer from one of the many exhibitions i’ve seen today:

0aaranchaket.jpgWords, 2008

Heart of Gold, Félix Curto’s solo show at La Fábrica Galería, takes its title from a song by Neil Young. It features ten photographs taken by the Spanish artist while he was visiting the Mennonite communities in America.

0amaneoninote.jpgAfter the Goldrush, 2008

0aadreamanani.jpgDreamin´man, 2008

From the press release:
The Mennonite communities in America work the land and lead simple lives, with no cars, electricity or any other modern conveniences. All of this is an expression of their understanding of the Christian faith, and they guard their privacy extremely jealously, totally isolated from the outside world. Currently, there are Mennonite communities in 82 countries, with over a million and a half members. The members of this community are, as the artist says, “good people, united by a strong spirituality that is never mentioned and yet is perceived at all times. Life in the community turns mutual respect and assistance into something that is completely normal, routine. They are reserved men and women, but if they empathise with you they will open their hearts to you.” The atmosphere in the Mennonite communities, not unlike that of a Western film, is pervaded by the philosophy of non-violence.


Curto has something of a traditionalist himself. He keeps using the Nikkon 801 AF, 35 milimeters his mother gave him almost 20 years ago. He doesn’t use a tripod, nor does he require the help of an assistant. He takes only one picture in each situation. Using a digital camera would therefore make no sense to him.

0aheartofolg.jpgHeart of Gold, 2008

Hear of Gold runs until July 19 at La Fábrica Galería in Madrid.