Born in Barcelona, Glòria Giménez graduated in Psychology from the University of Barcelona and attained the title of Specialist in Clinical Psychology from the Ministry of Culture in Madrid. Over twenty years of professional experience and further training both in Spain and at international congresses, have made her profession, psychology, a vocation, and one that she has extrapolated into her other great passion, photography.
Today, Glòria Giménez runs her own clinical psychology practice in Barcelona’s Rambla de Catalunya. Deepening the knowledge of Arab lands and culture is the thread that guides her current photo journalism. She frequently works together with humanitarian organisations through her exhibitions. In November, 2001, she was granted the UNICEF Committee Diploma from the Comunidad Valenciana.
In 1990, Glòria Giménez began working in photo-reportage, establishing parallels with her experience in the field of psychology and seeking, through her framing and focussing, to penetrate the expressions, gazes and gestures of her subjects.
It is curious that her most brilliant expressions come from metaphors or similes. When she speaks with passion about her great pastime, photography, she is quick to relate it to psychology, her devotion. She explains that the frames of the subjects she photographs allow her to go deeply into the expression, penetrate the wrinkles, the gestures, the gazes. Creativity seduces her. In black and white she finds the colours to define the anxiety, the depression, all of the psychosomatic disorders to which she feels so accustomed. Photography can capture the gesture just at the right moment.
The walls of her practice in Barcelona’s Rambla de Catalunya are full of paintings. There is no one-way path, no absolute truth. Contrast, the struggle between two worlds, dualities reproducing themselves in the kaleidoscope of life, are the only nexus of a restless personality, in constant evolution.
Before deciding on psychology, Glòria worked in the world of information technology and in fashion design. She was on the board of directors of the Catalan Society of Psychosomatics of the Academy of Medical Science, organising during this time congresses about psychology and medicine, body and mind, thought and behaviour. She has become accustomed to alternating between more cognitive and clinical therapies. She knows that sensitivity is in check. She is in charge of protecting it.
(David Castillo. El Futuro en presente; AVUI,
8 de noviembre de 1992).
Wandering amidst beings and monuments is the gaze of unification. The gaze that unites that which seems far apart. The gaze that achieves coordination in the vibrations of disparity. The gaze that regards itself in the mirror of the perpetuum mobile. The gaze of the camera and the feverish chills of Glòria Giménez. So present and so true! Self confrontation in the flow of images, in the diversity forming – a miracle! – Sequence. The janus bifrons of the 21st century. Spirituality and matter merging in the harmony of the precarious. Order threatened by the tumult of discoveries and re-encounters.
In the name of which Zoroaster would we mark the boundaries between the sacred and the profane? When the same lights and shadows of female silhouettes simmer in our yearnings. How they stand out against the burning temples! Now is the hour of prayer and sin, the time of fornication and orison. Now is the moment of commotion and siesta. When, in the streets, one can see the cart loaded with the corn and straw of a solitary man. Woman dressed in mourning, as though destined to a fate of endless grieving. But suddenly she is someone else. When she strolls through the souk and independence; when she amuses herself amongst the petticoats and talents; when she buys gold jewellery or cucumbers. The mystical world and its magnificence know how to adorn themselves with a new beauty, the beauty of the fretful everyday.
With that same magic that pervades flamenco, Glòria Giménez dances in the spiritual of different religions. She cuts her way into the mystery of the essential, into the authentic in reality, into the profundity of the sacred. As if sacer had been born into Latin so that it might serve as the origin of sacra and sacrum and be popularised by rites. What brazenness to place itself outside of the concepts of “good” and “evil”. Sacer is that which we cannot touch without corrupting it. Or without corrupting ourselves by the centuries of centuries.
In her photos, Glòria Giménez plaits thee matters together with the immaterial. Elegantly and humbly, she sows confusion amongst the vultures of history. Her time and space frighten concepts in random chance. The shadow and the desert rear up at her in details of sensitivity. She halts the flood of amazement and ejaculations. She congratulates felicity with the stone of perfection. She is invaded by images on the home soil of ruins and mirages. She separates neither yesterday from today, nor the shadows from the light. Amen.
Glòria Giménez’s photographs are transformed by the irradiations of splendour, turning the images into beams of light. Art, in Braque’s view, is what makes the wound light. Who was it that said that the world began in the eye of a poet? Reality is born of the imagination. Between the eyes and eyelids of violence. And love. The bolts of lightning of the word flash and flourish, the fruit of the visible and the invisible alike.
Between a Glòria Giménez photograph and ourselves howls are heard. But also the silence of centuries. From every shot she makes a composition and its paths. Everything sings to its own rhythm. So safe and so secret. She undoes the navels and the knots of the world for us. Unhindered without rupture.
Glòria Giménez takes photographs as a form of mediation. A means of discovery. And at last to see. She invents the evidence when the plenitude of the moment arises. Her delicate and fluid art works its way between the cracks of our subconscious. It lurks in the depths of our memory. It offers us the foreshortening of the present. Eternal. Glòria.
París 30th, january, 2003
If what we understand by “reality” is inevitably our own perception of reality, then my photographs are a personal attempt to capture moments of my reality that I do not wish to be swallowed up by time.
Syria is nothing more and nothing less than a series of phrases in a long dialogue between peoples, places, towns and cultures. A journey both in time – 15 years have passed since my first photograph in the East – and in distance; dozens of landscapes visited time and time again: beaches, children, schools, winters, elderly people, deserts, women, springs, mosques, soldiers, cold winds, markets, priests, mountains, fishermen, churches, craftsmen, seas, cafés, rivers, towns, hot winds, dawns, stones…life in all its force and plenitude.
The idea of one God, the birth of Christianity, and the worship if Islam constitute for me a journey of initiation in which traditions and religious rituals merge in a space of light and shadow; a sequence in which every image communes with the others, and in which the meaning of every image is part of a mosaic, each of its elements in dialogue with the others.
And perhaps because psychology – my other profession – obliges me to look at human beings without prejudice, photography, like psychology, is an attempt on my part to contemplate the world without attaching a label to it, without suspicion, in an urge to flee from the inevitable biases that cultures and biographies put in front of our eyes. I am conscious that the dialogue that demands compromising images, over and above any language problems, is only possible with a trustful, at times clandestine, complicity of the gaze between the subject and the camera that fill my photographs. For this reason, I would like to thank my anonymous allies amongst the Syrian people for their invaluable and generous participation.
We must not forget that the most dearly loved part of the camera is the lens, a device that aspires to an impartiality which filters and wide-angles usually alter, and for that reason I have refused any touching or cropping in the laboratory and I have given precedence to immediacy.
In my travels through what the West calls the Near East – this odd habit we have of thinking we are the standard and the measure even for geography – I have seen the landscape alter: in the exhibition there are ancient places that can no longer be photographed, as the conflicts of today have broken the links connecting human history and have redrawn the lines in the sand. Though the smiles are sadder in every photo, and the looks express more questions, the dignity and strength that my photographs capture surprise me and encourage me to continue with my chronicle of a time and a series of places that I now belong to.
And amongst these landscapes that I now belong to, Syria occupies a special place in my eyes: its peoples, landscapes, the skin of its stones, its light and shadows, its ancient dusks and promising dawns invite me to dream of unions beyond time and place.
It has been a long process of sorting
through the loved and the unloved to select the 139 photographs that
make up Syria, a Gateway to the Mediterranean, which, like all gateways
and doors, is a hope that we will be able to continue our romance in