Nyx Albarrán Cabrera

The name of Nyx series comes from a Greek creation myth. There are lots of them and many begin in darkness. As sons of the Mediterranean, living in Barcelona, we knew about the story of Nyx, through several poems by Orpheus where Nyx is depicted as the origin from which all the creation emerges.

According to this creation myth, in the beginning there was an empty darkness, a formless void of emptiness known as chaos.

The only thing emerging from that darkness was Nyx (night), a bird with black wings. With the wind, she laid a golden egg and for ages she sat upon this egg. Finally, life began to stir in the egg and out of it rose Eros, the god of love.

One half of the shell rose into the air and became the sky and the other became the Earth. Eros named the sky Uranus and the Earth he named Gaia.

This creation myth explains how we started from 'nothing' and evolved towards the environment which we experience today. Current cosmological models maintain that 13.8 billion years ago, the entire mass of the universe was compressed into a gravitational singularity, the so-called cosmic egg, from which it expanded to its current state following the Big Bang.

Memories are the leitmotif that runs through all our photographic work. They help us to acquire knowledge, and therefore to understand and explain our reality (“The Mouth of Krishna”); they help us to define our identity (“This is you here”); and thinking about the past and the future when organising our memories is how we perceive the passing of time (“Kairos”). In Nyx, we wanted to move towards a more general subject matter, where humans are not placed under the spotlight.

In this series we ask the question whether only human beings have memories:

Can also a planet or the entire Universe have them?
"Earth is ancient now, but all knowledge is stored up in her. She keeps a record of everything that has happened since time began. Of time before time, she says little, and in a language that no one has yet understood. Through time, her secret codes have gradually been broken. Her mud and lava is a message from the past.
Of time to come, she says much, but who listens? "

Jeanette Winterson, Weight: The Myth of Atlas and Heracles

When reading about this Greek creation myth, we realised that this would be the starting point of our new work. Everything related to this myth connects to us not only thematically but also aesthetically.

For a long time, we have been creating platinum prints in addition to our colour prints made on gampi paper over gold leaves.

In this work we have also combined the rich matte finishing of platinum, with the silky touch of gampi paper and the warmth provided by the gold leaves to recall the ideas of the black bird and the golden egg.

For the imagery of Nyx, we have been inspired by the aesthetics of Haboku landscape painting.

"It doesn't look like much. It just looks like some spatters on a page but gradually an image, a landscape begins to appear. If you look at this picture longer, you still see more. The way it unfolds in front of your eyes. [...] Empty space is as important as the landscape it surrounds."

Dr. James Fox describing Tōyō Sesshū painting.

We have followed the aesthetics of ancient Chinese and Japanese paintings in our images by playing with the variables that the photographic medium offers us.

Photographs reinforce our memory, and at the same time, they provide us with wider knowledge and a better understanding of the world around us. Being aware is not just an important part of life; it is life as we know it. With our work, we want to increase empathy in viewers, as well as heighten their interest in reality.

"The strata of a sedimentary rock are like pages of a book, each with a record of contemporary life written on it."

Jeanette Winterson, Weight: The Myth of Atlas and Heracles

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Created By
Albarrán Cabrera


Albarrán Cabrera