Ximo Berenguer (A Chupar del Bote)
8 x 8.4 in
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The book A chupar del bote –whose title, a phrase that translates roughly as “living off the public teat,” comes from a show performed at the popular Barcelona cabaret El Molino in the mid-1970s– constitutes a rediscovery of Ximo Berenguer (1946-1977), a virtually unknown figure in Spanish photography.
Originally from the Valencia region, Berenguer moved to Barcelona to study. There he lived through the tumult of the final years of the Franco regime and the early years of the transition to democracy in Spain, participating in the ferment of counter-culture movements and the advent of new forms of artistic expression, such as comic books and alternative video, as well as photography.
From this series of photos, taken over a period of three years at El Molino, Ximo Berenguer prepared a dummy which he submitted to Editorial Tusquets for its legendary Palabra e Imagen collection. Berenguer’s work offers a poetic x-ray of the cabaret, of its performers, both on stage and in the wings, of its audience, and of the singular old building that housed it, nestled in the famous Paralelo neighborhood of Barcelona.
Publishing A chupar del bote today not only represents a belated recognition of the talent of an important photographer, but also makes public a work that has ripened over time: both a magnificent artistic achievement and a sociological document about a crucial period in recent Spanish history.