Beatriz Ruibal Daniel Canogar

You open your eyes and close them again. You flop over and bury your face in the pillow. You stick one foot out from beneath the duvet to test the room temperature. You yawn, scratch your forehead and start to feel your body awaken from the long nocturnal journey through dreamland. 365 días (365 Days) by Beatriz Ruibal explores that ambiguous interval between dreaming and waking that we all experience every morning. This existential interlude between states, when the mind is still slow and groggy from the dreams of the night before, is the place on which Beatriz Ruibal trains her photographic eye. Every morning, over the course of 365 days, she photographed herself as soon as she awoke. Her photos are like the reflection we see in the bathroom mirror, the first encounter with our self-image each morning, in which we don’t always recognise ourselves.

The photographic grid that comprises the complete 365-day series is a record of the cycles of living. Eyes open, eyes closed; light and darkness; day and night. And yet Beatriz Ruibal positions herself on the threshold in between. We know that she is awake, but in most of the images her eyes are closed; it is dawn, but we don’t actually see the sunlight.

Transitions seem to be what most interests Beatriz. The constant flow of time in which we anxiously founder, feeling that we have lost our way, is structured here like a calendar. We discover the need to organise time in order to measure it, which in turn allows us to pinpoint our location within that intangible course. Photography is the tool she has chosen to capture this process. The freezing power of the snapshot is a way of resisting the inherent transience of human life, material proof of the fact that we truly exist.

In another later series, La brújula del cuerpo (The Body Compass), Beatriz Ruibal continued her exploration of repose, rest and the realm of dreams in 20 photographs of hotel rooms. In these works, we once again see a predominant interest in the bed as the symbolic place of rest and dreams, but also of illness and death. Whereas in 365 días Beatriz Ruibal focused on the daily act of awakening, here she squints at another type of transition: that represented by the anonymous space of the hotel room, a place of passage decorated to give the impression of a home away from home. The hotel room is the solitary domain of the traveller, who never goes to bed in the same place where he awoke that morning. His dreams seem to fuse with the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of creatures who have laid their heads on the same pillow before him. The impressions left on the sheets by their sleeping bodies are reminiscent of the impressions of light on photo emulsion. Our eyes come to rest on Beatriz Ruibal’s bed-photographs, finding a repose that is necessary in order to find our bearings in a world of pure transience.

Daniel Canogar, June 2000

Desarrollado por Diseño Activo