August 12, 2022
IN CONVERSATION WITH RPNUNYEZ
Photography by Rpnunyez
Interview by Melanie Meggs
Rpnunyez is a Spanish documentary photographer who does not photograph what he sees but what he is. He never thinks of his photographs as art objects or consumer items, and as he states, they have nothing to do with ephemerality either. Rpnunyez thinks of them as tools at the service of a simple idea so masterfully summarised by American photographer, Wayne Miller's words - “the universal truths of being human”. Rpnunyez firmly believes that, “the value of a photograph is shared, at least in equal parts, between the photographer and his models, who tolerate and accept his presence, who endure on many occasions his intrusion and insolence, and who in the end, are converted into paper and unaware of the passage of time, allow themselves to be observed, returning to us. like mirrors, some unknown part of ourselves.”
In a certain sense, the photographer's job is none other than to compose stories where the central character and various visual clues to weave a tapestry of sensations, of emotions, that give voice to that story. However, according to Rpnunyez, on many occasions, this can turn against us, forcing a subtle and unconscious prejudice about what we contemplate. The purpose of this series of portraits by Rpnunyez is precisely that: the decontextualization, the elimination, as far as possible, of those clues, including deliberately concise titles, that paradoxically take us away from the true essence of the model. A decontextualization that initially throws us into uncertainty...where? when? how?...but that finally pushes us to focus on the essence of the human being in front of us.
“We tend to focus on the where and the how, and perhaps we should focus our attention on the who? Certainly, we share neither country nor language nor religion, but the blood that flows through our veins has the same red colour and perhaps that should be enough.”