by Juan Aballe
Juan Aballe studied photography at the School of the International Center of Photography (NYC), and earned a MA in Photography at EFTI School (Madrid). He has been awarded grants from institutions such as the Spanish Ministry of Culture or Fundación Botín and his work has been exhibited and published internationally.
His photography combines a documentary background with a strong formal exploration of the medium and its ability to generate narratives and emotions beyond reality itself. He is deeply interested in how the subjective and ambiguous nature of photography can combine fact and interpretation, reality and imagination.
He has lived several years in Germany and the U.S.A. and is currently based in his hometown, Madrid.
The Nachbar project (neighbor in german) started when I discovered the old man living in the building in front of my flat in Berlin. I noticed how he used to spend some time everyday at his window, and started to observe him.
I became more and more intrigued by this lonely man and his daily routine, feeling increasingly close to him. For over a year, I photographed his moments at the window, developing a relationship without ever meeting him.
Almost five years later, I self-edited the Nachbar book, which includes 36 of those photographs, as well as texts in spanish and german.