PrimeroTercera (First floor flat 3) is a project carried out in all its entirety from the balcony of my flat over a period of 45 days. A project on the themes of monotony, fear, deprivation of freedom, loneliness, hope and, above all, life.
It consists of a series of photographs based on observation and a study of my surroundings in which I analyse and document my new reality from the only place in my home that is in contact with the outside world, my balcony.
One Monday in early March, I took the first Madrid train to work. Two days later, I returned to Barcelona following the work’s cancellation. When the next Monday came round, I had been confined to my home and unable to go out for three days. We were in lockdown.
The outbreak of the pandemic and the ensuing lockdown were a whole new ball game for most of us. In my case, faced with the prospect of being confined to my home for several months with a child of under twelve months and my partner, I decided that I had to find some kind of project to keep me motivated and busy throughout the whole lockdown, mainly for my sanity. The project would also be a testimonial to that exceptional space of time that we were forced to endure.
From one day to the next, I suddenly had no professional commitments to anyone, just to my family and myself. There were no work calls, no emails, no nothing. And as there was nothing, there was no rush. It was an unprecedented lull which I determined to put to good use by reconsidering lots of things.
My new world was reduced to the limits of my vision: a couple of street corners, a closed-off street, a few trees, and some half-halted construction work surrounded by buildings and apartment blocks full of unknown neighbours.
My little balcony–on the corner of two streets, Urgell and Provença, in Barcelona’s Eixample Esquerra district–became the box of my own private theatre for gazing down at the little that was going on in the street. My new world was reduced to the limits of my vision: a couple of street corners, a closed-off street, a few trees, and some half-halted construction work surrounded by buildings and apartment blocks full of unknown neighbours.
With the need to create a window in my everyday life to distance and detach myself from so many deaths, so many new cases of Covid and so much bad news, a project was born that would accompany me and make the long lockdown days much easier.
“The future was so uncertain that the only thing I think I could do was to photograph the past.”
It is a journey to the street where I have spent the last fifteen years of my life, one to which I had never paid much attention. It is a lesson in life and in cohabitation, during the course of which my son turned one and took his first steps. It is an introspective look at the world outside, where, each day, I explored the immediate neighbourhood within my realm of vision, and I rediscovered the landscape to which I belong and the one that inhabits me.
The photographs taken by Carles Carabí within this project were compiled in the book PrimeroTercera, 45 of lockdown from my balcony.