The photographic series entitled Parque natural (Natural Park) is made up of twelve images of landscapes, most of them steep, abrupt and sublime, that combine the tradition of Romantic painting with detailed Hyperrealist visions. Using post-production image editing techniques, José Ramón Ais (Bilbao, 1971) creates fascinating views of hypothetic natural parks, halfway between idealised stereotypes, fictional conservation of nature and the myth of the return to origins.


All these landscapes are crisscrossed by paths or rivers that allude to the entropy of nature, and yet they are also metaphors of the transformation of one's own individual path in life; scenes not designed to be inhabited but rather to be observed and interpreted; monuments that store memories; ‘stories projected in landscape', as the artista himself describes them.


The pictures are the result of elaborate conceptual, linguistic and aesthetic syntheses, for they conflate iconographic referentes taken from art history, mythology and beliefs with botanical eponyms derived from the scientific urge to classify. In Parque natural 6 (Natural Park 6), winter is associated with the rage of Demeter, mother of Persephone (Proserpina in Roman mythology), who stops the growth of plants until Hades returns her daughter, whom he has kidnapped.By the frozen river we find two plant species, Mermaid Weed (Proserpinaca palustris) and Dog's Mercury (Mercurialis perennis, a reference to the god Hermes or Mercury in the Roman adaptation of the Greek pantheon), who helps rescue her. Picture number 9 refers to the dark night of the soul, put into verse by St John of the Cross. In number 11, the presence of FIRE evokes the passage in Teresa of Avila's The Interior Castle that compares the state of the soul with hot embers. While these subtle visual and linguistic transpositions foster the spectator's decoding desire, above all else the pictures are invitations to enjoy their fascinating compositional beauty.


Rosa Martínez

This text has been wrotten for the exhibition "Nada temas dice ella"