Contact sheets: from Margaret Thatcher to A llama in Times Square

Interview to Ernesto Che Guevara in Cuba, 1963. Photo: Rene Burri / Magnum Photos

 

The exhibition shows the contact sheets of 65 of the most outstanding photographers of the agency. It is the perfect occasion to know the details of the creative process and the selection criteria that these authors follow to launch their final work. That’s why having access to this kind of materials is so difficult because they integrate a fund that photographers keep with much zeal and discretion.

 

 

 

A llama in Times Square, New York, 1957. Photo: Inge Morath / Magnum Photos

 

 

Contact sheets are the first print-outs of the negatives. This material was not born to be disseminated, since it takes part of the inner phases of production, selection and decision-making of the photographer. It is the way to choose the best shot from the printed samples of the raw images. Precisely because of that, they present a huge interest for the photography-lovers.

 

 

Margaret Thatcher, Blackpool, the UK, 1981. Photo: Peter Marlow / Magnum Photos

 

 

The exhibition encompasses a very remarkable sample of this material, by gathering some of the most iconic moments of our recent contemporary history. At the same time, it makes possible to the spectator to know the discarded snaps of some of the images more representative of the best photo-journalist of the agency, what can satisfy many people’s curiosity and allows to know a side always hidden to the public.

 

 

 

Protests in Paris, France, May of 1968. Photo: Bruno Barbey / Magnum Photos

 

 

Contacts sheets are displayed along with the image finally chosen, so as every single photograph shapes a brief story in which we can know its real context, the one of the photographer and of the moment captured. Among the authors included in the showing, we might highlight Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, David ‘Chim’ Seymour, Werner Bischof, Marc Riboud, Eve Arnold, René Burri, Jim Goldberg, Susan Meiselas, Hiroji Kubota, Steve McCurry, Jean Gaumy, Paolo Pellegrin or Cristina García Rodero.

 

If visual arts arouse emotions in the viewer, and also gastronomy, at its finest, can cause a similar effect, the relationship between both "disciplines" is more than demonstrated.

Cheese is a fundamental piece in gastronomy, its diversity allows it to be part of gastronomy different moments, from starters to desserts, and that is why Art Madrid includes it in this year’s edition of the Fair from an ambitious place. Cheese is given this way a closest view to the creation of a work of art, both from the point of view of the time spent in its execution process and the almost personalized study dedicated to each piece during its elaboration.

Like a plastic artist, the Cheese Master Affineur executes a series of actions making each piece an exclusive and individualized element. This is what Madrid cheese factory QAVA de Quesos and its Master Afinador José Luis Martín achieve.

QAVA & MARTÍN AFINADOR is a new store concept: a unique space designed to taste, learn, promote and buy cheese in Madrid, in the heart of Retiro district."

José Luis Martín is a key piece in the QAVA cheese factory. He has been working in the cheese world for more than 30 years, providing training throughout the world, visiting cheese shops, consulting and advising on the design and implementation of one of the most emblematic cheese shops in Spain. The fact of knowing the producers personally, and even advising them on the manufacture and design of their products, allows him to select specific batches, at different stages of maturation, to complete the cheese ripening and then convert each piece into a unique product, different and with its own distinct character, the signature of the Cheese Master.

In the profile of the Master Martín Afinador experience and pure knowledge merge. Martín Afinador is an advisor and consultant for artisanal cheese factories and product design, and for the best-specialised stores in the country, director of Gourmetquesos, director and coordinator of the Championship of the Best Cheeses in Spain during nine editions, technical director and jury in national and international cheese competitions and tastings, collaborator of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Academy of Spanish Gastronomy, director and coordinator of the cheese section of the Repsol Guide to the Best Foods in Spain and trainer for hospitality schools and food centres teaching, among other activities.

Cheese ripening is a complex process that requires time and dedication, in addition to a developed use of the senses. The Cheese Master Affineur, as a specialist in the field, works in all cheese stages (varied and complex), controls all stages of raw material transformation, supervises the evolution and development of cheeses according to the characteristics of each one of them, verifies the quality and the state when the cheeses arrive at their cellars, checks their care and conservation, and; finally, he controls its packaging and the type of wrapping suitable for its best preservation.

In Qava de Quesos they have two Cheese Refining Cellars. In these "tuning caves" or refrigerated chambers designed in constant conditions of temperature, humidity and ventilation, "we take great care of the cheeses until they reach their optimum point of consumption". The work of refining involves placing the cheeses on wooden shelves, turning them over daily and/or washing them frequently, brushing them periodically, as well as other regular handlings.

Among the services offered by Qava de Quesos, we can find specific courses and workshops, events for groups and companies, and advice on shop design and ripening rooms.