Interview with Asier Gogortza


Where and when was this photograph taken?

This was shot from the “Free Square” also known as the “pediment” at the Gehasto neighborhood, in a town called Itsasu (Lapurdi, Basque Country), in a January afternoon, in 2013.

What were the conditions on site?

It was a very cloudy day, but there was a lot of light. In every photograph done for this project, I was looking for similar lighting conditions, avoiding direct sunlight exposure, using the clouds as a natural diffuser in order to achieve a neutral and smooth atmosphere.

Is there any technical aspects you want to point out?

Just like in the rest of the series I opted by putting the pediment centered in the image at a fixed height.

How did you get to the site?

The first time I went there it was many years ago by chance, in one of my aimlessly trips in that area. At that time, I did’t have in mind this series on pediments, but the place seemed very special and for years I went there in many occasions. I would say that this specific space is what inspired me to make this photographic series on pediments. I am sure that I repeated this series more than seven times, in different days, with different lights, during a period of time longer than one year. It turned out to be a small obsession.

Is there a funny story about this particular photograph?

From my house, it takes me about one hour to get there by car, and sometimes I would go alone, but in most of the times I would go with Marga, my partner. Weekend would come and I would ask her: “Let’s go see the Itsasu pediment?” and she would always be happy to go with me, maybe she would even be more excited than me. Sometimes we would get there and I wouldn’t even take my camera because the light wasn’t the one I wanted. In the next weekend the same thing would happen. By the time I took a photograph which I was satisfied with, our son Ladix was already four months young and the first time we went there Marga wasn’t even pregnant. However, today I am amazed by the fact that she never said denied going there with me to see the “pediment”.

Is there anything that you were trying to communicate through the image?

I think that this is one of the images from this series that better explains what I was looking for, and although it is still difficult for me to put it into words, I wanted to address the pediment as an architectonical element. To address its functionality, its symbolism for Basques, its aesthetics…. and also its intervention in the landscape, the relation created between the building and the surrounding… I would say that it was a research process on aesthetics.

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