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Photography and epigraphy come together in the publication BLOC

17 December 2023

The Early Christian Necropolis hosted last Sunday the presentation of the first BLOC edition, a collaborative initiative of the international photography festival SCAN and the National Archaeological Museum of Tarragona (MNAT). In this first proposal, titled Epigrafia: del passat al present, the Col·lectiu Photo Km 0 has participated in a project that has established a relationship between the gaze of photography and the epigraphic inscriptions that are preserved in different sites in Tarragona.

The publication, which has also counted with the participation and assessment of epigraphy expert Diana Gorostidi, gathers the works of nine photographers of the collective, curated by Pep Escoda, who have been able to develop a vision of epigraphy with freedom in terms of approach and techniques. Each of the artists has chosen one or more inscriptions that are preserved in Tarragona, and has elaborated a brochure based on those inscriptions connecting them to the present of the city. In addition, the publication contains the location of each image so that it can be used as a participatory route with the readers.

During the presentation act, the MNAT director, Mònica Borrell, pointed out the role of the epigraphic collection preserved in the Necropolis as a "witness of the past" and appreciated how the project developed with SCAN "provides new visions" of the heritage. The MNAT has collaborated since 2012 with the SCAN festival, and the publication initiative BLOC allows to resume this relationship in a new format: " the desire of SCAN is to involve the cultural institutions of Tarragona in the project," remarked Jesús Vilamajó, director of SCAN.

The presentation was enriched with a thorough explanation by Pablo Varona, also an expert in epigraphy, which allowed us to find out which "pills of microhistories" are hidden in some of the inscriptions preserved in the Necropolis. This visit through the epigraphic collection has enabled to bring back to life some of the characters that were remembered or commemorated by these texts engraved in stone.

The event also received the presence of the nine artists who participated in the project: Alba Rodríguez, Carles Llop, Cristina Serra Juncosa, Verònica Moragas Rovira, Gerard Boyer, Nani Nolla, Pep Escoda, Rubén Perdomo and Albert Villena.

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