MEMORABILIA: The invented memory.


   © Photos and Text: José Quintanilla

“The past does not exist. There are only its infinite representations " Riszard Kapucinsky

Among the monumental representations, the ruin will become the key to our collective memory, the door to access the dream world that, as Marc Augé said, places us in "pure time, without date, but with memory." The ruins reaffirm the roots of our past and establish our heroic references, and when these do not exist, we invent them.

In this work, José Quintanilla talks about the false ruin –also called folly or capricho–, which became fashionable in the landscaped gardens of the wealthy European classes of the 18th century. As generators of memory on demand, they recreate the Western vision of history, clinging to a heroic past that feels threatened by the arrival of the industrial revolution and modernity, while reassuring consciences, disturbed by the growing environmental degradation , the overexploitation of natural resources, the ruthless use of children and slaves, and the appropriation of the wealth of others in the colonized territories.

The passage of time blurs the distinction between the original and its copy. Ruin and photography, with their supposed veracity, as representations to document our fiction.

ENAIRE Foundation Award, special mention PHotoEspaña 2021