ana galan – viv(r)e la vie!

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Ana Galan

Viv(r)e la Vie!

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Viv(r)e la vie! is a photography series in process, consisting of photographs of couples in profile with a landscape of a countryside in the background, snapshots which evoke the Diptych of the Duchess and Duke of Urbino by Piero Della Francesca.

The concept depicts the two contrary principles, masculine and feminine, which are found in an embrace as a symbol of the partnership, the unit and belonging, the union of two planets which find themselves in the same line of gravitation. In this movement, we discover the meaning of life. As well in its coniferous landscapes, the series recreates the representation of the power of vital force, of immortality.

Viv(r)e la vie! consists of 15 photographs, of 15 couples which meet in order to dance every Sunday in a community center. This series pays homage to those people who continue to live in the moment.

I began the series Viv(r)e la Vie! in Guadalajara, Spain, with the idea of putting together a set of series of 15 couples in different cities around the world, between 1 and 5 series in each continent and subcontinent. Couples of a certain age, people barely seen socially, but who have not stopped living life fully and whose close relation is photographed in the Sunday outing dances of the community centers of their area.

The photographs give visibility to people which, for a certain time, have lacked such visibility. This series, at the same time, documents the cultural diversity that exists between different cities and countries. All of this is seen through the behaviors and gestures of the dancing couples, in the relationships between man and woman and in the roles assumed by each of them, they also narrate each selected territory.

The second series of Viv(r)e la Vie! was developed in the American city of Philadelphia from June 7 to 27, 2011 thanks to an artist residency I have been granted by the Philadelphia Arts Hotel.


Ana Galán was born in Madrid in 1969. After receiving her degree in Economics, she completed an International MBA, which entailed studying in three different cities: Oxford, Madrid and Paris. In the last two courses, she wrote a thesis addressing “Speculation in Plastic Art”.

Since 1993 she has combined her passion for photography with her profession, attending various courses and workshops in Paris and Madrid, such as EFTI’s Master of Fine Arts in Photography, and since then has participated in several collective exhibits and photography projects.

She works as the marketing director for a magazine in Madrid, and lives between Guadalajara and Paris.


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Ana Galan


161 Responses to “ana galan – viv(r)e la vie!”

  • I didn’t like William Daniels essay, I found him removed at a distance from the people and more preocupied by cool images than telling the story about those portrayed in the photos.

  • loving, delightful and moving…lovely work.

  • EVA :)))

    we must have been separated at birth….i say/do the same thing always :)))…it’s not crazy ‘Mikhailov’ (like Yesterday’s Sandwhich or Case History or Unfinished Disseration) but it’s a gorgeous book :)))….enjoy

  • DAH, im afraid that IMANTS nailed it…
    Except from couple folks and the occasional NatGeo traditionalists/fanatics ., everyone IGNORED completely that “tulips” essay.. I hope Imants is wrong, I hope I’m plain wrong , I hope 90% of burn audience here is wrong but 23 comments are not “positive”.. It’s as negative as it gets.. Being ignored is more painful than being disliked..
    Imants is right.. Enough with that westterners approach of the 3rd, 4th and 5th world!

  • David , audience also rights a lot positive comments too..
    THINK VISSARIA essay (maybe not best example coz she is a child) but
    people are also posting positive stuff..
    Now controversy is something u have to EARN and be a maestro creating it!
    So yes I VOTE for controversy ( this essay is not that much really- but but is as hilarious as that older essay posted here.. remember? About a fake Meeting/marriage/pregnancy/divorce etc , allure magazine style- PHOTO ROMANCE- essay).. I can’t( nor I should post it) remember the name of the photog .. sorry!

    So yeah the TULIP essay was like a classic visit to the dentist’s waiting room, not food for thought therefore not so much for the need to sit down and write anything positive or negative..
    ALSO REMEMBER that most commenters here prefer to NOT COMMENT AT ALL, on a boring essay out of kindness and out of FEAR that they will be accused as mean spirited or nor “advanced” enough and crappy fears like that ..
    But this current essay here .. It’s real fun.. Shot a little on the “lazy side”… Viva canon program “child” or “portrait” mode… a little pretentious/hilarious artists statement and there u have it.. Another Howard Stern show episode!
    At least not boring .. Hard to resist to not participate in this one ( either tongue on cheek or not )… We need more essay like this.. We need more laughter .. Kinda like the EPF winner ( ALTHOUGH
    THE EPF WINNER ESSAY had nothing to do with LAZINESS)
    the EPF winner had lOts and lots and lots of hard work invOlved- plus tech knowledge!
    So I see a very “successful” BURN essay here .. It kept most of us awake and not yawning , unlike the tulip cliche

  • audience also writes/ typo (one of the millions)

  • DAH… yes, negativity and controversy keeps forums like these alive. If I recall correctly, it was Jim Powers who once said you should not do the forums thing. This place would die a not so slow death if you were to pull the forum. (I know, of course you wouldn’t!)

    Arguing and debating and discussing the merits of this essay or that is an inherently negative and/or controversial thing. And that’s true of every internet forum in the world. The posts that blow up to 100, 200, 300 comments or more in a short time frame only happen when it’s controversial and usually negative. What would this place be if we didn’t have our regular Debbie Downers popping in every other day or so to lay down some negativity? ;^}

    People like to argue.

  • . The posts that blow up to 100, 200, 300 comments or more in a short time frame only happen when it’s controversial and usually negative
    remember christopher brown essay?….about Libya? He got 2nd in EPF race btw…he had a trillion comments…i didnt see anything negative nor positive…just plain “food for thought” comments..some in target some completely missed etc…Its a learning process commenting on essays..maybe Eva will drop a link, maybe patricio will post a movie, maybe this maybe that…but almost ALWAYS after i finished comments on a new essay..i had a more knowledge on matters that i ignored or was un aware of…
    Think outside black or white, good or bad, positive or negative…love it, hate it, enjoy it, mock it, u cant please anyone nor u should..
    but bottom line, (at least me personally) i always discover something “new”..not necessarily from the photos of any current essay but from the info from commenters..
    For Example i would never had the pleasure to be introduced on ARAKI’S japanese books if it wasnt for BOB BLACK commenting on someone’s essay ( i cant remember if the comment was under K.Lee’s essay , nor that it really matters )

  • I hate to admit it but i personally LEARN MORE from the comm enters than most essays ..
    Paradox? i find comments more interesting than most Artist’s “statements” out there in the sphere of internet vanity!

  • Essays looks like oranges but the folks here peel the orange , not most essayists , with some few BRIGHT exceptions of course ( no, no im not dropping any names ;)

  • I look forward to seeing a new essay on burn…and probably with the same intensity as reading the comments right after everyone has taken a look. It’s fascinating reading different opinions and different takes on them…and yes all the great links to interviews and videos posted. It’s true for me that I have learned lots from comments alone…specially from David’s insight and anecdotes.

  • Panos… me too. I learn quite a lot from the comments. And yes, Chris Brown’s comment section was unique.

  • Though Chris Brown’s was fairly controversial with all the iPhone/app crap.

  • Carlo , thats my point yes…Essays here are a stimulant, like an insect bite , or like a morning coffee …and then knowledge, humor, tongue on cheek and rarely mean spirited jealousy (but rare i think, although it exists – we are humans after all)….Essays are a great “excuse” for the audience to get involved, think and evolve (or not)..but mainly all those links, photos, movies, exhibitions, political crappy analysis (mostly mine;) , contests blah blah..all that information is priceless and would not have been available if there were no comments!

    Michael…exactly…i dont mind for that 10% of “negativity”, if the rest 90% of valuable INFORMATION benefit our thirsty souls!
    i ALSO OWE YOU too Michael K.coz If it wasnt for YOUR info ABOUT MAGNUM’S (POSTCARDS OF AMERICA), I would probably hear about it a little too late!
    Thank you (and i cant even recall under which essay you posted that info…nor that i care…Your Info Stayed , the Essay Gone!

  • with all the iPhone/app crap.
    true , true.. but it also made me think of accepting / using, mixing more media etc,…still “tasty food for thought”!

  • Here’s a problem that I personally face when it comes to making comments. When someone has put a piece of their heart and soul into a work, yielded it to the process and then put it on display for all to see, then I find it very difficult if not impossible to say anything that seems to me to be an attack at that person’s heart and soul. So I almost never say anything very negative about an essay. It’s also true, though, that when it comes to liking photography, my standards are much lower than those of many of the commenters here. I like almost all photography that I see – even the work of people who are so amateur they do not even call themselves amateur. And I have NEVER seen an essay on Burn that I have not liked. Not one. Some strike me more strongly than others, but I have liked them all.

    As to the opening statements – yes, there is often hyperbolic nonsense in those, but that is true of the photographic world in general when it comes to making statements about a work, whether those statements be made by the photographer or someone writing about the photographer.

    It’s a little easier for me to go on the attack when I see someone write words that strike me as being an unnecessarily mean attack upon a person’s heart and soul. That is what happened here. When I read Michal’s words, they struck me not only as arrogant, but mean. Then maybe I got a little mean toward Michal and so attacked his heart and soul.

    When I first found this forum, Jim Powers words almost always struck me as gratuitously mean and arrogant. They don’t anymore. They just strike me as… Jim Powers. And for all its outer callous, I believe there is a sensitive soul in Jim Powers.

  • i hear you P!

    Glad that Magnum Bus trip worked out for you! I am hoping to maybe tag along or at least get to see part of the east coast trip… is that still happening?

  • As far as some “confirmed rumors” go the Next Trip is gonna be “bigger and better” ..i think some nice folks are donating/pouring some money into the next trip after the success of the first one! stay tuned! i do too!;)

  • Here’s a problem that I personally face when it comes to making comments. When someone has put a piece of their heart and soul into a work, yielded it to the process and then put it on display for all to see, then I find it very difficult if not impossible to say anything that seems to me to be an attack at that person’s heart and soul.
    Bill, i think thats usually the case in low comment (indifferent) essays (of course its not the rule..just happens often)

  • but with couple of “unfortunate” exceptions-viva Jim P. ( see comment: “psychotic photographer shooting their psychotic world), other than that i dont see many personal attacks…Yes M.C.Brown would/should catch some flak for the iphone app..but i dont think it was demeaning to his character or work…sorry boring u, keep repeating myself..but i saw all criticisms mainly constructive under Libya essay!

  • Food is food..and we all need it!
    Same with food for thought…i can even learn something “new” just by opening a paparazzi tabloid too..there is always something to “feed the brain” even if it comes from a “negative” source like a celebrity or even Sports newspapers!…

  • Essays, dialogue, comments on essays…Burn is so full of information! Whenever I look back to what kind of photography I was doing when I started reading Roadtrips I’m amazed how far I’ve gone and of course the amount of knowledge I’ve found here on Burn is breathtaking… There is no ”how to photo” book which can even begin to rival the information here.

  • for example i do enjoy watching Le Tour De France not only for the sake of the race itself but the cameramen are doing some amazing shots and pulling some amazing footage , shooting from the back seat of motorcycles..a feast for the eye imho

  • There is no ”how to photo” book which can even begin to rival the information here.
    you are right in my mind Paul..couldnt have said/write it better…

    Burn/Road trips is the ULTIMATE “how to photo/think” book and it should be the size of the mighty “YELLOW PAGES” IF EVER PRINTED…its coming close to encyclopedia Britannica i think;)

  • encyclopedia Britannica (size) i meant!

  • And I learn from everybody round here…
    The ”Holiday lights” Dialogue is loaded with information…
    The ”Detroit” essay last December had some extremely interesting comments and so did the ”Destino” essay…

  • there is always a “book i need to buy” after i read a bob black comment…
    Here i discovered the Sally Mann movie, here i discovered “Situations , Room in Cambodia” by my fav D’Agata, here i discovered the movie “War Photographer” by S.Frei (Nachtwey, Amanpour etc)

    “War Photographer
    (2001) UR
    In this engrossing, Academy Award-nominated documentary, director Christian Frei follows photojournalist James Nachtwey into the world’s combat zones as he fights to capture the struggles of those who face harrowing violence in places such as Kosovo, Indonesia and the West Bank. Nachtwey skirts through murky politics to tell the stories of the suffering in hopes that he can bring attention to their plight, one picture at a time.”

  • Oh and we must never underestimate DAH’s Twitter posts! The man really knows how to write short, direct and magically inspiring notes! Hope he never gives up on those! Remember being stuck in hospital last year and those little tweets really raised my spirits everyday!
    I think I’ll go back through all of them sometime and do a comment listing the top 25 DAH Twitter Posts!!!

  • over here i heard about “Debtocracy”, “Inside Job”, “lose change 9/11″…
    it was David Bowen that posted that link about american helicopter killing civilians and photographer and my oh my..didnt they really enjoyed it!

    Collateral Murder – Wikileaks – Iraq

    Also again from Michael K. i heard soon enough about REVOK (THE graffiti artist) that got jailed and then i did my research, got in contact with TOOMER BEAR, graffiti artists united under mr. BRAINWASH and so much money gathered within 20 minutes…YES YES JUST in 20 MINUTES…they gathered $40000..for the bail…
    yes yes , all started over here …

  • Panos…
    The Nachtwey documentary is exceptionally special. I’ve shown it to friends who have nothing to do with photography who have come away ”changed” by it. My wife can’t watch the film she breaks into tears after the first five minutes… I’ve the same problem with his book ”Inferno” never been able to get through 2 chapters in the same reading… Feels also like a lack of respect for the poor souls he photographed not something to flick through through like Vanity Fair…

  • AND i will never ever forget how much i learned under ROGER BALLEN’s essay!

  • And Burn is most certainly the only photography website who doesn’t care two shits about whst camera you’re using….
    Because we only care about your eyes, your heart and your need to scream out or whisper…
    Your truth.

  • or even going back to my essays (venice beach or greece or whatever)…
    many many “negative” comments, about my vignettes/use of iphone/inconsistencies etc..i did not see the “neg” comments as “negative” at all…actually it was a point that Gordon L. asked me to send him the Raw file(of course i forgot), the photo with the two women Georgian immigrants , just to “play” around so to find a better exposure etc.. (second photo in greek essay)

    Gordon made me think, so did MW and so did Imants while i was studying his Etrouko World!
    I hate hate hate to admit it but sometimes the comments/reference links end up being way more important than the actual essays themselves…Essays sometimes are the greatest EXCUSE for amazing conversations …

  • Your truth.
    Paul absolutely true..thats why i unsubscribed from Leica Forums for example..or other forums of this nature…pure elitist bullshit..”my jpeg is better than yours” although both of our photos suck!(yes they always forget to admit the latter)..
    yes i bought the best camera! i did my job! now time to chill on the couch with my martini reading the owners manual over and over again…



  • There is something else that the Sonnar and some other Zeiss lenses have, and that is a very pleasant 3D feeling to the pictures. It´s not as clinical as pictures with some of the ASPH-Leica lenses sometimes can get. It just feels very pleasant, for lack of a better word.

    I would go so far as to claim that the combination Leica M9 and Sonnar 50mm sometimes is capable of producing results that can rival my Hasselblad film cameras with 60 by 60 mm film.

  • “…I realized I was about to give up a lens that often produces great results and every now and then is unique and totally outstanding…The nice thing is that you almost get two lenses in one if you buy the Sonnar, a very pleasant dreamy look wide open and a very sharp one at f 5.6. I would get an even sharper lens for the same money if I got a Zeiss Planar 50, or an used Leica Summicron, but in most cases the Sonnar is sharp enough.

    And sometimes it can produce images that neither the Planar or the Sumicron can come close to.”

  • A new ZEISS, f/1.5 normal for $750 felt like a bargain compared to a used Summilux 50, and definitely compared to a new Summilux.
    so yes…when info comes from serious resources , its PRICELESS (Plus it can save u tons of $$)

  • my lens is bigger than yours?

    I second what Paul said about burn being the “only photography website who doesn’t care two shits about whst camera you’re using”

    it’s great not reading about tech stuff. I’m not going to lie here but I do like to look at lenses/cameras and what not but to read pages upon pages of boring technicalities is lame…really lame. I could not imagine reading that sort of thing here.

  • Burn/DAH/Anton kill in one foul swoop the myth that there is some magical trick, potion or secret code to becoming a good, great, outstanding photographer…
    It’s all just work and work, believing in yourself and listening to what means something to you.

  • And this site is something special…
    Where else in the world can you ask a Magnum photographer for advice, who makes time to help all those who ask…

  • Sniping criticisms always say more about the critics than about the art. In a culture modeled by Washington, people have come to think it’s their responsibility to take somebody down; and so criticism is now reaching for the lowest hanging fruit. I was surprised when I posted comments a while ago to be criticized by a post that complained about my screen name being arrogant: if I had become the target. (The person who “critiqued” my screen name obviously missed the allusion and the homage to someone else.) Much more useful than the critics are the commentators like Bob Black’s post, in which he reflects on what Ana Galan’s work contributes to the photographic conversation, what she is trying to achieve and achieving, why she would enter into a “dialogue” with Piero Della Francesca, and what her work suggests about where she may be going. I don’t think DAH has it right when he speculates that the more comments/criticisms posted, the more impact an essay has. I think people here work themselves into a mob frenzy and feed on each others’ heat. My guess is that in a culture of free floating anger, the most potent works of art shock viewers into silence, the very opposite reaction from wanton blather. Silence is where we go when something is so fresh it reorders our world.

  • I think people here work themselves into a mob frenzy and feed on each others’ heat.
    “here” in this earth? well, welcome to real world my friend! (time to abandon the church utopia)

  • In a culture modeled by Washington, people have come to think it’s their responsibility to take somebody down
    lol…exactly just like u did with the above comment

    (its weird how some folks look at their mirror and see “someone” else..someone they dont like)

  • Bringing/beating BURN down, speculating that Washington is behind it…is at least (cant find appropriate word)!

    hmmm and all that under a troll name…cmon mrs/mr Important! Dont fire bullets hiding in your cozy anonymity,
    por favor

  • about my screen name being arrogant:
    arrogance is cool if u can back it up with your work , hiding in anonymity isn’t….think before you attack,
    brother/sister, whatever your drivers license says you really are!

  • Isnt it weird how many “Anonymous” love to bring BURN down ? they hate it, but they are still here…
    there is an App for that (sorry there is a word for that)…hmm what is it?
    its a common feeling i see In this world of ours (Washington is behind of called BITTERNESS!!!

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