Dive into the enigmatic world of Arnau Rovira Vidal, a photographer whose lens captures the silent stories of architectural marvels from Ashgabat to Disney resorts. This article delves into Arnau's journey from cinematic studies to the challenging landscapes of Turkmenistan, and his shift towards personal narratives in his latest project, "Flaix". Through his work, Arnau invites us to reflect on the intersection of architecture and human experience, offering insights into his creative process and advice for aspiring photographers. Explore how Arnau transforms the concrete and the conceptual into compelling photographic narratives.

© Arnau Rovira Vidal

In a world where images bombard us incessantly, the photography of Arnau Rovira Vidal emerges as a poignant pause, a breath of silent storytelling. His lens captures not just scenes but stories, particularly those whispered by architectural marvels and the spaces they dominate. His latest venture into the surreal landscapes of Turkmenistan’s capital in the project "A Ghost City" exemplifies his unique vision—a blend of architectural curiosity and narrative depth.

Early Inspirations and Cinematic Beginnings

Arnau’s journey into the realm of photography began in the dimly lit darkroom of his childhood home, under the watchful eyes of his father. This early exposure to the art form, coupled with a growing fascination for cinema during his academic years, laid the foundational skills necessary for his current work. His transition from cinema to still photography was born out of practical necessity, but it became a passion that drove him to relocate to Madrid to study and refine his craft.

Architectural Narratives

Arnau's photography transcends mere documentation of structures; it seeks to tell the larger story of human interaction with space and form. His work often explores how architecture serves as a physical manifestation of societal values and history, as seen in the meticulously planned but eerily quiet streets of Ashgabat in "A Ghost City". This project, capturing the ghostly white marble expanses of a city with few visible inhabitants, invites viewers to ponder the impact of authoritarian aesthetics on urban landscapes.

A Surreal Contrast in "Fantasia Resorts"

His creative versatility is also evident in projects like "Fantasia Resorts", where Arnau places minuscule human figures against the backdrop of gargantuan, brightly colored Disney structures. This contrast not only emphasizes the surreal scale of these architectural fantasies but also comments on the commercialized dreams sold to and consumed by society.

Challenges in Turkmenistan

Venturing into Turkmenistan presented unique challenges. Known for its restrictive governance, particularly regarding media and photography, Arnau navigated considerable risks to bring his vision of Ashgabat to life. The process was fraught with difficulties, from obtaining access to dodging surveillance, highlighting the lengths to which he goes to capture the essence of his subjects.

Intimate Turn with "Flaix"

Moving away from grand architectural themes, Arnau’s ongoing project "Flaix" represents a pivot toward the personal and intimate. This series is a reflective journey through his own memories, utilizing everyday objects to craft a visual narrative of his life. It’s a project that strips away the grandeur and focuses on the essence of personal storytelling.

Advice for Aspiring Photographers

For those embarking on the path of documentary photography, Arnau stresses the importance of personal passion over external validation. His advice is to focus on projects that fulfill creatively rather than those aimed solely at attracting publishers or galleries. It’s a testament to his belief in photography as a personal journey rather than just a professional pursuit.

Looking Ahead

As Arnau contemplates the future, his plans include turning "Flaix" into a more accessible format, like an exhibition or a photo book, while also embarking on new projects in Spain and South America. His work continues to evolve, but the core remains unchanged: capturing stories through the silent language of photography.

Arnau Rovira Vidal’s career is a reminder of the power of images to convey deep, often unspoken narratives. Through his lens, viewers are invited not just to see, but to understand the complex layers of the spaces and structures that surround us. As he continues to explore and document the world in his unique way, his photographs remain windows to both the seen and the unseen, the grand and the intimate.

For more on Arnau's work, visit his website or follow him on Instagram.