April, May & June
The artist will penetrate the streets of Legazpi to live temporarily among the residents and passers-by and will create a collective image of the neighbourhood through the medium of photographs. At the same time, he will be spreading a rumour about the recent arrival in the area of Intermediæ and about the intended event Celebrando as an occasion of mutual welcome between the centre and the residents.
Juan Carlos Lecaros will move into the neighbourhood of Legazpi to live there temporarily, becoming just one more of the locals who passes through its streets each day. He will be creating rumours about himself and about the celebration on 23rd June and gifting us with the vision of someone who uses his photographs, converted into postcards under the Postalegazpi project, to tell of both the kindnesses and risks of community life.
The artist plans a strategy of exploration and immersion in the area through actions which will transform him into an anomalous, but at the same time familiar, element of the neighbourhood. By the means of a regular pattern of movements over the course of the three-month project, he hopes to become a familiar figure, able to strike up informal and ordinary relationships with the residents of this southern corner of the city. Camera in hand, armed always with this appendage which has become a part of his own physical form, and which is recognised as an indispensable part of his being by those who already know his usual wanderings around the streets, bars, shops and corners of Lavapiés, Lecaros will interrogate every nook and cranny of Legazpi with his friendly, non-judgmental, enquiring look. His snaps show, frozen in time, faces, squares, things abandoned in the street, the fragmented physiognomy of a neighbourhood in the process of constant transformation, each day more multicultural and heterogeneous, with ancient scents, traditional spaces, the smell of kebabs, the strains of salsa music, accents tinged with tradition, south American voices…
Using photography as a sociological tool and the driving force behind a living experience, by which means Lecaros lives what he observes, directly, in the first person, without middlemen, this restless and inquisitive artist approaches people, creating a zone where distrust is transformed into security through the exchange of information. By word of mouth his presence in Legazpi becomes instilled in the residents’ consciousness, and a rumour runs through the neighbourhood, at times preceding him, at other times like an echo dying away behind him only to be renewed on the next corner. This familiar, intimate process, almost rural in its methodology, which prioritises the personal aspect of communication is in direct correlation to the spirit of Celebrando, the event by which Intermediæ hopes to portray the centre’s role as one of the locals who is taking the opportunity to open its doors to the neighbours and invite them in to share a relaxed moment of informal presentations on the longest day of the year.
As part of the process of his activity, Lecaros approaches a passer-by with the intention of striking up a dialogue which is initiated with the taking of a photograph for which the person portrayed chooses the pose, the location in the neighbourhood and his preferred situation in order that he identify with the resulting image. During the resulting communication, the artist stresses the invitation to Celebrando and suggests that the event can be seen as a natural extension of the relationship which is in progress and which is consolidated by the presentation to the subject of a gift in the form of the photograph transformed into a postcard. The rumour passes by word of mouth of this person who is transformed from stranger into friend, a suitable metaphor for the changing way in which we regard new arrivals in a neighbourhood, demonstrating strategies to encourage drawing together, and articulating processes whereby popular culture and wisdom acquired in the street nourish the narrative by which we live.
Juan Carlos Lecaros (Lima, 1976) is an artist whose main concerns -both of his work and of his life- are to be found in the street, firstly, due to his architectural training, in questions relating to town planning which reflects on mobility and social flow, and then in the way in which urban territories are defined, growing from human groupings which mould the city and its symbols according to their own values and divide the group experience in the modern urban landscape.
His almost compulsive curiosity has led him to collect images he has caught on film and to treasure the faces, the appearances of the contexts he explores and lives, to make an archive in progress which currently includes over 70,000 photographs. From the streets in the historical centre of Lima at the end of the 90s, when he followed and photographed the movements of the Lima underground, to the multi-cultural portrait in constant flux of Lavapiés, this artist never ceases to look around him with the vision of one whose actions completely and continually blur the borders between art and life.
He arrived in Madrid in 2002 as part of the Fundación Carolina grants program for Iberoamerican artists, and from that moment on, he started to develop the work in progress A tus pies (At Your Feet) which started him on his artistic pilgrimage through the streets of Spain. This project culminated with his show as part of the Otros (Others) exhibition included in Casa de América during ARCO 2003. He has lived in Lavapiés for the last three years and he uses photography as a tool for life. He started recording nights out with friends, and progressed to become involved with the neighbourhood residents and with those of other neighbourhoods. Since then, and until the present time, he has constantly and repeatedly launched into the urban space, becoming a meticulous reporter of a reality in constant flux; among his activities are involvement in the formation of the groups sn_lavapiés and unaimagen, as well as managing the programme of the Dry Cleaning Lavandería, a streetwise gallery beyond the fringe of the institutional art system of Madrid. His most recent project has been the photographic installation TRAVELING PIPOL, made up of around 1,000 photographs collected together to capture moments of lives of the people who live (or die) the night in one of the many bars of Lavapiés.