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Listening to the Trees

The Spanish artist duo Albarrán Cabrera have a special relationship with nature, from which they have drawn a new photographic work published in October 2023.

Extract from Albarrán Cabrera, Listening to the trees (Atelier EXB, Paris, 2023) © Albarrán Cabrera

For Albarrán Cabrera, nature oscillates between being a source of inspiration, a photographic subject or a backdrop, but is always present in their images. Trees play an important role: from the shadow of a branch to the design of the foliage and the tortuous silhouette of a trunk, they also serve as a common thread running through their photographic work. The two artists alternate, zig-zagging between bright colours and monochrome tones. Sometimes abstract, their photographs take on a certain melancholy and plunge us into timeless, dreamlike and surreal landscapes, the duo's trademark.

Extract from Albarrán Cabrera, Listening to the trees (Atelier EXB, Paris, 2023) © Albarrán Cabrera

Extract from Albarrán Cabrera, Listening to the trees (Atelier EXB, Paris, 2023) © Albarrán Cabrera


"We start from the premise that the only way to understand mankind is to understand nature, not as it really is, but rather as we perceive it. If we pay attention and observe, we can understand it from both points of view. When we take photographs, we experience movement. We reach a state of awareness that allows us "to see without looking, to hear without listening, to breathe naturally", to quote the poet W. H. Auden. We experience nature in a truly inclusive way: we are part of it. (...) By photographing these trees, we have learned to listen to them and to understand ourselves better". Albarrán Cabrera, excerpt from the book

Extract from Albarrán Cabrera, Listening to the trees (Atelier EXB, Paris, 2023) © Albarrán Cabrera

Extract from Albarrán Cabrera, Listening to the trees (Atelier EXB, Paris, 2023) © Albarrán Cabrera

Although the tree has symbolic importance, it is not the only subject of this photographic book. The photographers explore the broader relationship between man and nature. They also draw on literature, in particular the writings of the German novelist, poet and painter Hermann Hesse. This gives shape to their thinking. Author Yves Darricau added a text to the book, evoking the historical complicity between man and trees down the ages. A relationship undermined by global warming.

Extract from Albarrán Cabrera, Listening to the trees (Atelier EXB, Paris, 2023) © Albarrán Cabrera

Extract from Albarrán Cabrera, Listening to the trees (Atelier EXB, Paris, 2023) © Albarrán Cabrera

Extract from Albarrán Cabrera, Listening to the trees (Atelier EXB, Paris, 2023) © Albarrán Cabrera


Listening to the trees, Atelier EXB, 184 pages, 101 photographs, €49.

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