Beatriz Ruibal J. M. Caballero Bonald

Beatriz Ruibal has travelled halfway round the world, toting a camera and her unflagging sensibility. She wanted to portray the different emotions of nature, and she has done so with a veracity and lucidness worthy of the most rigorous scientist. Her true ambition was to measure the incommensurable, vast geographies that seem to predate man’s earliest attempts to tame the wilderness: endless horizons in Patagonia, glaciers in Chile, Bolivian lake districts and primeval landscapes of Castile.

Each of these huge photographs by Beatriz Ruibal includes the rest. By this I mean that each of them is the result of a quest that presupposes the other consecutive quests through forsaken territories, through overlooked landscapes. Even the images of domestic or street scenes seem to be the product of a temporary break or lull: the author has just finished deciphering a majestic region and is preparing to interpret yet another fascinating district. This explains the impression of continuity, of intercommunicated, complementary labour that pervades Beatriz Ruibal’s entire body of work. The succession of photographs tallies precisely with the sequences of a journey to some of the world’s most memorable stopping-off points.

It is true that photography enhances and intensifies the value of reality. Its efficacy naturally depends on the artistic resources of the person behind the lens, but it also depends on her selective talent, on her ability to judge what she sees. The camera’s implacable eye does not merely delimit a specific square of reality; it also judges that reality and hands down a verdict that can never be appealed.

Therefore, photography does not just reproduce a concrete physical space but also evaluates and measures it against a set of private standards of sensibility. And this is patently obvious in the photographs of Beatriz Ruibal, perhaps because they also encapsulate an admirable blend of passion and knowledge.

J. M. Caballero Bonald

Foreword to the catalogue for the Beatriz Ruibal show Geometría de los mundos posibles 

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