Javier Ortiz-Echagüe is an art historian. He edited the anthology of José Val del Omar, Escritos de técnica poética y mística (2010) and is the author of Norte de África. Ortiz Echagüe (2012) and Yuri Gagarin y el conde de Orgaz (2014). Together with Horacio Fernández he coordinated Fotos & libros. España 1905-1975 (2014). He currently teaches at the Architecture School of the University of Navarra.
Ricardo Cases was born in Orihuela, Alicante (Spain) in 1971, he holds a BA in Sciences of Information from the Universidad del País Vasco, Bilbao (Spain). In 2006 he joined the Blank Paper Photography Collective. In 2008 created with the designer Natalia Troitiño Fiesta Ediciones and since 2013 a member of the AMPARO platform. Since 2007 he develops his work as a teacher in Blank Paper School , in the European Institute of Design (Madrid, Spain) and in EFTI (Madrid, Spain).
FiestaFiesta consists of a collection of fanzines published by photographer Ricardo Cases, who is known for his photobooks Paloma al aire (Photovision, 2011) or El por qué de las naranjas (Mack, 2014), but who also has an extensive curriculum as a teacher and a photography activist.
In 2008 Cases and designer Natalia Troitiño founded an publishing house called Fiesta, which is based on the philosophy that its name evokes: more than selling or distributing books, the idea behind it is to celebrate the birth of new works. That same year, Supernormal #0 was published. This fanzine sought to be the first one among a long series devoted to normal people no one is interested in. Although this project did not go beyond number 0, a first step was taken. In 2009, Fiesta published the book "La caza del lobo congelado" by Ricardo Cases, and the next year the first FiestaFiesta appeared: Casa de Campo by Antonio M. Xoubanova, which consists of a very narrative picture collection taken at this famous park in Madrid, and which includes a series of fairy-tale-like images and strange, outsider characters. Eleven publications followed between 2010 and 2015, including works by photographers Federico Clavarino, Javier Celán, David Hornillos, Jesús Monterde, Iñaki Domingo, Miguel Ángel Tornero, Antonio Martínez, Alberto Feijoo and Ángel de la Rubia.
Some of these became the first presentation of the author’s work, like the magnificent collage collection of La sombra en el césped by Íñigo Aragón, or the sharp portrait of a rural Spain that Jesús Monterde makes in Nemeni Parco . We are currently waiting for these two works to be published as photobooks, which is something that has already happened with Xoubanova’s Casa de Campo (Mack, 2013) or Mediodía by David Hornillos (Dalpine, 2014). Others, like the thorough study of geometry and framing that Federico Clavarino embarks in La vertigine , are the seed of later works like Ukraina Passport (Fiesta, 2012) or Italia o Italia (Akina, 2014).
What brings all of these authors together is their connection to the Blank Paper collective (of which Cases and Xoubanova are part of) and the school linked to it, where many other authors have either studied or taught at. The only ones that are not directly connected to Blank Paper are Iñaki Domingo and Miguel Ángel Tornero, whose works are the most playful and that have been made possible thanks to the freedom that a fanzine publication allows. The work of the former portrays the “progressive disappearance of my motorbike as its pieces were stolen”, while Tornero's is based on a series of visual comparisons that unveil the hidden greatness of gotelé , a wall decoration that is visible in many Spanish homes.
This festive nature is fundamental in Fiesta publications. Its purpose –as stated by Cases– is to “publish the work of authors that are focused more on working than on making their work visible”. As a matter of fact, the FiestaFiesta collection is not distributed anywhere: all of the copies (which have gone from 25 to 50 and 100 in the case of the most recent publications) are sold in the context of a presentation party that takes place in a bar where the author’s images are also on sale for a low price. This is why FiestaFiesta has not only become a platform that helps disseminate these photographers’ work, but also an event that creates a certain sense of community among authors and amateurs that come together to celebrate the launch of new works.