Gonzalo Golpe has a degree in Hispanic Philology and Diploma in Editing and Publication of Texts by the University of Deusto. He is an independent editor and teacher. Specialist in art edition, publishing and graphic production. From 2010 to 2103 he led Siete de un golpe, an atelier specialized in the selfpublishing of photobooks, artist editions and graphic production. Since 2014 he is member of La Troupe, a collective of graphic arts professionals dedicated to work with artists on editorial and exhibition projects. He collaborates as editor in The Portable Photo, a collection of apps for IPAD of contemporary spanish
2008, the year of the rat in the Chinese calendar, was a good moment for those born under this symbol to succeed in business. It was the first year of the crisis, the year in which the financial plague knocked down governments and turned the world into a system of binary values: you either had a job or you didn't, or a house, or money, or a future for that matter. It was also the year in which Alejandro Marote became a photographer.
At that time, Alejandro Marote was part of the urban landscape of Madrid, a city always in need of fixed elements. If you wandered around the city centre you knew that you would eventually see him stand out among the crowd.
A member of the Blank Paper collective and a former student of this school, Marote had a hungry look, just like Gaiman’s character Sandman , who had many mouths instead of eyes. He was an obsessive image consumer, insatiable only as predators can be. At the time, he would not chew the image; he would only swallow it as if he needed a specific amount of images to survive each day, or as if he were building up energy.
Not every street photographer is a hunter, some gather fragments, some face it as a slow collecting process in which they are looking for an image that awakens them. Alejandro never held the camera as a weapon: he did not hunt; he collected, classified and drew his conclusions. To him, the camera is a strainer, a tool used to filter. He wanted to be woken up.
During those fist years of the crisis, the streets of Madrid could become dangerous places if you were looking for gold: a strong current would pass and it often took with it large masses of shapeless matter. The Gran Vía was a stream of people wandering around without a final destination or a purpose; they were scared beings that moved out of inertia. As precise as the filter was, it was hard to tell apart what was just shiny from what was actually valuable. These were active years, there was no time to assess the results or even have the necessary clarity. The archive was so large and the analysis and classification so thorough that it really took a lot of courage to face the results and to see if he was there in what had been done.
Alejandro took on the task of narrowing all of those images into conclusions: he had worked on form until he had exhausted it, now he had to give it meaning, an ethics.
In was a hard process in which first of all he had to detach himself from the binary logic that had taken him to an alchemy-like transmutation process that could be represented by the Latin formula solve et coagula (dissolve and coagulate). It meant to separate in order to reunite. Using this method, formulated in his first book “A” (RM Verlag), Alejandro filtered reality - what was visible - by expressing that his quest was not limited to the margins of reality, that it could breathe. This became visible in “Ab·stract”, an app developed by Espadaysantacruz Studio, which was published on iTunes under the label The Portable Photo. “Ab·stract” is an immersive experience, a never-ending journey throughout image, film grain, grid and pixel.
With these two seminal works, and his take on geometry and symbols, movement, volume, repetition, equilibriums and tension, Alejandro was able to understand the constants of the image. He coagulated.
Currently, from a ternary logic in which a third value is possible, and where there is room for what is undetermined and vague, Alejandro has began to explore the possibilities and the limitations of a single image in two different fields of work. On the one hand, he has dived into a process of plastic materialization and transformation of the photographic image, learning about the hidden mechanics of gesture, the hybridization of techniques and the reaction of pigments to different platforms. Calligraphy, drawing, printmaking… he knows he must learn the abilities of graphic artisans in order to give shape to his own work.
On the other hand, he has started working on a quite different field, where he experiments with the digital fragmentation of the image, a process he calls “Fracking”, in which, following the principles of this mining technique, the pixel reticule goes through a violent breakdown process so that what was seemingly inaccessible can be reached.
As part of his creative activities, he has also worked on installations and sculpture and used light as a space-building element, in addition to intervening public spaces using collaborative dynamics that pave the path for an encounter between the author and his audience. Alejandro Marote follows his intuition, which is always one step ahead of his reasoning. His ability to multiply efforts and his endless curiosity nourish a drive more common in times past, in other authors, when art was not a profession but a true calling, a natural imposition.