Fuchina: five days of the may

David Salcedo

2015 - 2019

We all have a hometown where we belong. A place made out of childhood, atavism and some acts of cruel barbarity. A town with white houses, narrow pavements, chairs on the streets, the murmur of voices. “Who are you, then?”, they ask to those walking by, looking upwards, perhaps towards the clouds.

Any village or town that takes pride in itself, has its own festival. There is no community without ritual, no established order without the one-off breakage of rules. Apollo cannot be conceived without Dionysus. Pagan Gods cannot endure without the rites of Catholicism. At least not in this constellation made of white dots, the villages scattered across the South and East of the Iberian Peninsula.

Without red, White cannot be. The red of flags, of banners, but also of that liquid treasure kept in barrels. The gold of the crucifix known as Cruz de Caravaca meets the excess, contained in a plastic cup, during the festival. A cup that stands on top of a car’s hood, also painted in red, just like life.

David looks with his eyes, but also with his guts. Cándida, his loyal companion, registers this by means of a numerical code. The digital images by Salcedo are personal and, at the same time, continue in the tradition of Spanish masters such as Cristóbal Hara or Carlos Pérez Siquier. The eye of the camera also captures the dazzling sunlight, the blinding walls, the neighbour with the oncoming hangover.

Within the rectangular frames, always vertical, real horses resemble toys, and toy ones seem lifelike. Fabrics hang over balconies and walls, rags conceal faces. But not hiding intentions, the will to follow the established script, as prompted by the collective identity. Every image also possesses the silence of idle hours, the one that precedes the bang of firecrackers or the chanting of neighbours.

The fiesta must happen, the ritual must continue its cycle: cups get empty, but they will be refilled when Earth completes yet another orbit around the Sun. God is in heaven, but down here, just in case, Fuchina is filling up the glasses.

Text: Rafa Badia

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