Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Spain: Seville, Day 1

September 27, 2011

Something I noticed while on my organized tour was that people were taking pictures of things that would be completely mundane/ridiculous/odd at home, but are somehow completely acceptable in a foreign country. While we were taking a tour in Seville, people stopped at one point to take a picture of a woman taking out her trash. She wasn't dressed crazy, the trash didn't look unusual, and the scenery wouldn't have even been obviously "Spanish" (whatever that means). But because this woman was in Spain, and not, say, our neighbor back home, it was a novel thing to photograph...we had to leave our entire country behind to recognize the interesting aspects of ordinary activities. I think that's part of the reason I always appreciate photographers who use their homes and neighbors as subject material. They manage to step back from their ordinary everyday and capture that same life as something new and interesting. They look at it, so to speak, through another lens.

My ordinary tourist pictures:

In 1929 Seville hosted the Exposicion Ibero-Americana, a world fair that intended to improve relations between Spain and the countries in attendance (mostly former Spanish colonies, heh heh...). During the 19 years prior, the city has spent enormous resources building up the expo buildings and the attending countries were also allowed to build exhibition buildings. Which they, in a grand array of styles (first picture). Naturally, as the host, Spain built the largest exhibition area, the Plaza de Espana (the rest of the pictures).
All in all, the strange conglomeration of buildings makes for a very unique and diverse neighborhood.

The Metropol Parasol, designed by German architect Jurgen Mayer, was just finished in 2011. It houses the central market and an underground archeological complex, although it was EXTREMELY difficult to find the entrance to the market. A lot of the doors led to elevators that you needed a key to use or a second door that was locked. I never managed to figure out how one got down to the archeological exhibit...

For all your protein needs...ALL of them.

And pictures of perfectly ordinary things:

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