‘I made these photographs between 2009 and 2013. Jorge died in 2010.’ A brief line of text at the end of Alberto Lizaralde’s photobook, everything will be ok, is the only inkling we are given as to the exact circumstances that surround the pictures.
Evidently a reflection on longing and loss, the very act of personalisation makes for a story that is both ungraspable yet directed towards the universal. Who is Jorge? How did he die? What was his relationship with the photographer? Who is this person repeatedly photographed, this woman grieving? Is she even grieving for him at all?
These are just a few of the questions that orbit our imagination when confronted with the disorientating and disquieting pictures in this debut book, co-edited by the celebrated photographer Cristina De Middel. With fiction becoming a place visited more and more in contemporary photography – while also being increasingly justified in art/documentary practice – finding the facts has become a difficult task.
Images of an exhausted woman in floods of tears, face puffy, eyes running and red, create a sense of vulnerability that pricks and bruises the viewer. These are interwoven with other photographs in which the violence is palpable: splatterings of blood, cuts, stitched wounds.
Vague details such as crumbs on chairs or uncovered pot holes, which explore themes of presence and absence, eventually give way to a finale of fireworks and dancing that rides the wave of ecstasy. It’s all brought together in an adroitly constructed narrative which speaks to the possibility that, despite life’s uncertainties, everything will be alright once more.
Everything will be ok is a curious and affecting book, showing an interest in desire and suffering and their fragmented representations through photography and storytelling. With its taut edit, masterful flourishes in sequencing and modest form, it is easy to see why it was shortlisted for this year’s Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation First Book Award.
And did I mention its thermodynamic cover that changes from black to white when touched? Far from gimmicky, the festishistic character of the book only serves to strengthen its concept.
For more information or to order a copy visit thisbookistrue.com
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