msdm a nomadic house-studio-gallery for photographic art and curatorial research, an expanded practice of the artist's book, photobook publishing and peer-to-peer collaboration created by contemporary artist paula roush
Book dummy created for BOX. UNBOX exhibition
Godsbanen Aarhus, April - May 2022
With works by Sille Juline Høgly Pedersen, Ane Bonde Rolsted,
Ali Roshanzamir, paula roush, Sarah Schorr, Bodil Soh
[see the exhibition here]
This is a project about a WATERY PLACE, a network of lakes, dams and reservoirs in the Pyrenees, and the confluence of various humans, nonhumans, and photographic technologies that shape the ways it is visualised.
WATERY PLACE seeks to represent the ways in which Catalunya watery landscape and its spectral ecologies came to intersect with its photographic industry, in a box of photographs found at Mercat d’Els Encants (flea market), Barcelona. Contents: 12 gelatine silver prints and 8 film acetates, size 12.7 x 17.78 cm. Labels: Gevaert Gevapan 33, a highly sensitive emulsion for dark places, manufactured by now defunct Spain state-owned company Industria Fotoquímica National S.A. between 1950 and 1963. Photographer: unknown. Precise locations: unknown.
The box has subsequently been the focus of photographic and academic research, to uncover the materialities, dates and locations of its photographic contents, and tell a latent story through archival research and crowd sourcing.
Addressing Spain’s ghostly photographic heritage, its connection to early environmental research and photography teaching, the book unfolds in four sections:
1- A double accordion structure entangles the watery places as a unified water stream
2- A central pamphlet gathers Images from archival research, spanning early photographic documentation of the same area by environmental photographers like the Marcel·lí Gausachs i Gausachs (stereo photographs of same lakes), contextualise Spanish photographic industry, with the work of Rafael Garriga, photography teacher and creator of the photographic company that in 1928 was transformed into «Industria Fotoquímica Nacional S, A.» “INFONAL”, in partnership with Photo Produits Gevaert, a Belgian Flemish company founded by Lieven Gevaert and managed also by Hendrik Kuijpe.
3- A section is dedicated to collective mapping, gathering of an online public map to support identification and location of places in the photographs inside the box found at Mercat d’Els Encants (flea market), including possible locations as: Canelles Reservoir, Estany de Banyoles (Lake of Banyoles), Estany Xic de Colomina, Valle de Benasque,
4-Water interventions in images from the box, direct contact printing with water to capture the surface tension of water flow;
1. Base of box found at Mercat d’Els Encants (flea market) Barcelona: 18,7 x 13.7 x 1.8 cm,
cover lid was missing. Label: "Manufacturado en espana por Industria Fotoquimica Nacional S.A. Barcelona, Gevapan 33 Film Timbre a Metalico" (Manufactured by Industria Fotoquímica National
S.A. Barcelona, Gevapan 33 Film Metallic tone).
2.+ 3. Contents of box found at Mercat d’Els Encants (flea market), Barcelona:
12 gelatin silver prints and 8 film acetates, size 12.7 x 17.78 cm.
4.+ 5. Photograph of complete box (same film) found via online research, listed as "Papel Fotografico Pelicula Plana. GEVAERT GEVAPAN 33.10X15 sin abrir"
Visible: two labels, lid label [GEVAERT] and top part of base label (sealing the box),
missing from the box found at Mercat d’Els Encants.
6. Sheet film notch codes from 1954, table found online at
7. Three squared notch-code types in the Gevaert Gevapan 33 acetate film sheets
in the box found at Mercat d’Els Encants.
8. Ludovic Gaurier, Lac des Bouillouses, View of the lake from the opposite side of the dam.
Mairie de Toulouse (1910-1920), Archives municipales, 67Fi134 - [Pyrénées. Lac des Bouillouses]
and 67Fi101 - [Pyrénées. Lac des Bouillouses]
9. Ludovic Gaurier, photographer, priest, mountaineer, specialist in limnology (study of lakes)
of the Pyrenees, is also the author of "Atlas des lacs des Pyrénées / [cartes bathymétriques]"
(Atlas of the lakes of the Pyrenees (bathymetric maps), of 210 lakes, published 1930.
10. Ludovic Gaurier, two bathymetric maps, illustrating the land that lies underwater,
of lakes of the Pyrenees, in Atlas des lacs des Pyrénées (1930).
11. Ludovic Gaurier Les Lacs des Pyrénées Françaises. Privat & Didier, 1934.
12. L’estany de les Bulloses. (ca. 1918) Arxiu Fotogràfic Centre Excursionista de Catalunya, by Marcel·lí Gausachs i Gausachs, catalan stereoscopic photographer, technique in which two pictures of the lake are taken from slightly different positions, when looked at in a viewer which presents only one picture to each eye, this produces an illusion of 3D.
13. Curso de Fotografia. Barcelona: Centre Autonomista de Dependents del Comerç i de la Industria(1921), and Manipulacions fotogràfiques. Barcelona: Ed. Políglota (1922), two books by Rafael Garriga i Roca (Barcelona, 1896 – 1969), founder in 1920 of the photographic company that in 1928 was transformed into «Industria Fotoquímica Nacional S, A.» “INFONAL”, in partnership with Photo Produits Gevaert, a Belgian Flemish company founded by Lieven Gevaert and managed also by Hendrik Kuijpers.
14. Industria Fotoquimica Nacional, S.A. Infonal. Share of 1,000 Pesetas - Barcelona 1928
15. Loose leaf of the photography magazine ‘Progress). full page advertising, 1929, GEVAERT
La marca (The brand) Industria Fotoquimica NacionalS.A. (National Photo chemical Industry)
Mallorca, 480 Barcelona
16. Info-sheets and advertisements for Gevapan 33. Historical Archive Agfa-Gevaert, Collection Fotomuseum Antwerp, 001-GEV – Subcollection Assortment”. Gevapan 33, produced from 1950
until 1963 (year of merger with Agfa), was an emulsion particularly suited for dark places, where natural light couldn’t be guaranteed. It is described in an internal magazine as follows: “a highly sensitive emulsion with a fine grain, a correct sensitivity of colour, and a gradation that doesn’t sell itself short […] Samples were sent to agencies. They replied: ‘prachtig, merveilleux, perfect, get it on the market, don’t wait, ausgezeichnet’ […] Then came questions to produce this emulsion on sheet film, small format film and plates. We obliged where possible and now Gevapan 33-studio film and plates can be delivered”.
17. Collective mapping: online public map to support identification and location of places in the photographs inside the box found at Mercat d’Els Encants (flea market), available at https://goo.gl/maps/YzqBvZnzSW1iq7kM7
18. Estany Xic de Colomina, photo: Cesar Villan
19. Noguera Pallaresa, photo: Ana Isabel Vallina
20. Canelles Reservoir, photo: Laura Rebollo
21. Lac Major de Colomèrs, photo: Deporfer Towers
22. Pantà d’Oliana (Oliana Reservoir) photo: ansoumana diakhaby. “I used to spend some days in summer in the town you have in the list, Benasque. You can add for example: Lago Colomers, puente de Sant Martí, lago de Banyoles or embalse de Oliana. [maddi]
23. Pantà de Santa Fe (Santa Fe Reservoir) photo: Lloret Mania
24. Pantà de Sant Antoni, photo: Roger Capdevilla
25. Estany de Banyoles (Lake of Banyoles), photo: eva gomez
26. Lac des Bouillouses, photo: Quentin Gicquelay
27. Estany de Sant Maurici, photo: Ana Isabel Vallina. Some images reminds me of Parc Nacional d’Aigüestortes i estany de Sant Maurici ( https://parcsnaturals.gencat.cat/ca/xarxa-de-parcs/aiguestortes/inici/) but I’m not sure and not all of the images. [montse]
28. Lac de Mar, photo: Jordi Etchanchu
29. Valle de Benasque, photo: Roberto Rodriguez
30. Val d’Aran, photo: Fernando Marco Perez
31. Pont de Sant Mart, photo: Nadine Moser
32. Laguna de Utxafaba, photo: Josep Ferrer
33. Puente Viejo de Benasque, photo: Ana VL
34. Embalse de Santa Ana, photo: Javier Aranda
35. Pont du Diable, photo: Pawel Waskiewicz
36. Pont Vieux of Carcassonne, photo: Colin Timaxian
37. Pont du Gard, photo: Sergio Pavesi
38. Puente románico, photo: angelin duran serena
39. Pont vell de Vilaller (Old Bridge of Vilaller), photo: Maria Rosa Guimerà
40. The Ferreres Aqueduct, photo: Antonio Moreno Leon
41. Pont Vell, Santa Eulària des Riu, photo: Javier Heras M
Research supported by:
School of Arts and Creative Industries
Centre for the Study of the Networked Image
at the London South Bank University
Exhibition supported by:
The Instituto Camões
and the Embassy of Portugal in Denmark
Special thanks to
Ane Bonde Rolsted and Bodil Soh
Beate Cegielska, Galleri Image
and Aarhus Photobook Week
Jan Baetens, Lieven Gevaert Centre
Thomas Jenné and Tamara Berghmans,
Maddi Sanchex Villegas