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Infrared Cities: Sublimis by Vicente Muñoz

Deep-red treescapes that wind their way through the urban structure. With Sublimis, a series of infrared photographs, Vicente Muñoz explores the human longing to control and tame nature by means of a constant process of urbanization. The collection includes 38 chromogenic photos that portray the city of Guayaquil, capital of the province of Guayas in Ecuador.

Infrared film was originally used in aerial photography, above all for military purposes. Since 2011, the film has no longer been produced. In the Sublimis series, Muñoz uses this film to create a contrast between city and nature with a striking shade of red. This creates an analogy: with the red colour, Muñoz refers both to the rarity of the film type and to the shortage of green spaces in urban contexts.

As Richard Mosse did with infrared photos taken in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Muñoz connects abstraction and political criticism. The series’ namesake is the painting Vir Heroicus Sublimis by Barnett Newman, one of the foremost representatives of abstract expressionism.

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