Running until 16 September, the Players exhibition at the Espacio Fundación Telefónica in Madrid shows the most playful, approachable and lighthearted face of photographers from the prestigious Magnum Agency.
2017 marked 70 years since Robert Capa uncorked a champagne bottle along with Henri Cartier-Bresson, George Rodger and David Seymour to toast to the success of the now-famous Magnum photographic agency. Since then, 92 photographers have contributed to its history, capturing the crucial events over this period in a language that is both artistic and journalistic, while also forging global icons.
The exhibition “Players – Magnum photographers come to play”, commissioned by Cristina de Middel and Martín Parr, shows a different facet of these professionals and seeks to present their fun-loving side through the concept of play. It takes a look at the different meanings of the word “player” and collects images where play is present in different forms, whether in the actions captured by the images or in the recreational attitude of the photographer. This exhibition and its selection of images takes into account the wide variety of styles and visions of Magnum photographers who, through their cameras and their work, give way to a wide range of combinations on the concept of play. In the words of Cristina de Middel, the exhibition ‘hopes to relax people’s expectations for the agency, to show how it looks privately, in a relaxed setting, when no one’s looking. It’s about enjoying photography without having to record great universal truths in stone with each shot.’
The photographic exhibition brings together almost 200 black-and-white and colour photographs from different generations of the Magnum Agency in order to show images where play is the underlying theme. This exhibition is part of the proposal suggested by the recent winner of the Spanish National Photography Award, Cristina de Middel, for PHotoESPAÑA 2018. In it, the photographer challenges the audience to discover the most playful and experimental side of photography.
This selection also traces through the history and the different photographic styles of The Magnum agency’s members. “Players” brings together authors from different generations (from historical photographers like Jim Goldberg, Bruce Davidson, Susan Meiselas or Elliott Erwitt, to more recent acquisitions such as Alec Soth, Mark Stuart or Christopher Anderson) to build an unusual retrospective of Magnum, showing, for the first time, the fun and the most easy-going facet of its authors.
“Players” runs until 16 September at Espacio Fundación Telefónica, C/ Fuencarral, 3, Madrid.