Peering into Juan Aballe’s Fabricated Utopias

In the isolated corners of the Iberian Peninsula, Madrid-native Juan Aballe spent two years seeking a world less flawed. However, he quickly realized that there was no way of truly recording (or even fully understanding) life on the countryside as an outsider. Instead, his photographic series Country Fiction focuses on showcasing his own flawed interpretation of the environment.

Marred with preconceived notions on what a better place “should” look like, Aballe morphed his series around the medium’s romanticized portrayals of nature and pockets separate from contemporary society. Though picturesque, each image is tinged with “subtle tension” – even idealized medium format photographs can’t completely mask the unsettling truth that perfection simply cannot be attained. Instead, each frame leaves the viewer yearning just beyond the picture, for a world that could almost be.

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