Laia Abril (Barcelona, 1986) is an artist, photographer and bookmaker. After graduating in Journalism she moved to New York to attend ICP courses, where she decided to focus her projects in telling intimate stories which raises uneasy realities related with female issues. Was then in 2009 when she enrolled for 5 years FABRICA – the Artist Residency of the Benetton Research Centre in Italy. In 2009 and 2010 she was a finalist of the Ian Parry, participating in the exhibition at the Getty Gallery in London both years, first with her project on the young lesbian community in Brooklyn, and then with ‘Last Cabaret‘ a project on a sex club in Barcelona.
Four years ago, she started a long-term project on Eating Disorders, with the First Chapter: ‘A Bad day‘ a short film focused in the daily like of a young girl struggling with bulimia. The piece has been featured internationally on several media and selected at the NY PhotoFestival 2011, 3rd Lumix PhotoFestival, PhotoMeeting Ojo de Pez 2012 or New York CUNY University in 2014, among others.
In 2012 she releases her self-publish fanzine, ‘Thinspiration‘, the Second Chapter of the Eating Disorder’s series, which explores the use of photography in the Pro-Ana websites. The post-photographic project was also finalist at the Burn Emerging Photography Fun in 2012, shortlisted at FotoVisura Grant 2012 and selected as a jury choice award at Santa Fe Center 2012. Most recently has been exhibited in the show ‘From Here On‘ in Barcelona, Lodz FotoFestiwal 2013, FotoEspaña 2014 and has joined the permanent collection of the Winterthur Photo Museum in Switzerland.
Abril’s most recent launched project is a on-going multimedia web-doc on the Asexuals Community, providing one more time a multi platform tools to photography as part of her femininity, gender and sexuality continuing research.
Abril created in 2013 the dummy ‘Tediousphilia‘ – together with the Art Director Ramon Pez (with who has founded a book maker team); based on the photographer’s sex webcame performer’s series, which ended up shortlisted in the 2013 Kassel Dummy Award. In 2014 the book was published by Musée de l’Elysée along with a special projection for La Nuit des Images Festival.
Her work has been published in several media as The Sunday Times Magazine, D Repubblica, Le Monde, Ft Magazine, The New York Times, Burn Magazine, Ojo de Pez, BJP, GUP, Esquire or COLORS Magazine, where she had been Staff Photographer and Consultant Photo Editor since she enrolled FABRICA – the Artist Residency of the Benetton Research Centre in Italy – in 2009.
Her body of work has been exhibited and apprised mostly in Italy, Spain, Poland, London and New York. In 2010 she was nominated as an emergent talent by the agency Reportage by Getty and selected at Plat(t)form Winterthur Photo Museum 2012. Recently she is being nominated to the Magnum Foundation and the Joop Swart Masterclass.
Currently she just released her new book project ‘The Epilogue’ published by Dewi Lewis Publishing. This third chapter documents the story of the Robinson family – and the aftermath of losing their 26 year-old daughter to bulimia; the indirect victims of eating disorders, the unwilling eyewitnesses of a very painful degeneration. Recently the book was reviewed by The Guardian’s writer Sean O’Hagan: “The Epilogue holds fast to the formal rules of a certain kind of posthumous biography told though first-person testimonies. […] But the images and ephemera give it another level of poignancy, accentuating the sense of deep absence family anecdotes now carry.”
*Download CV here.
Selected Solo Exhibitions
- A History of Misogyny, chapter one: On Abortion, Rencontres Arles, 2016
- Tediousphilia, Musée de l’Elysée, 2015
- On Eating Disorders, Docfield Festival, 2015
- The Epilogue, 001 Gallery, Rome, 2015
- Thinspiration, Contraluz Gallery, 2013
- Femme Love, Studio la Città, 2010
Selected Collective Exhibitions
- Thinspiration, Fotomuseum Winterthur, 2016
- Asexuals & Tediousphilia, Galerie im Taxispalais, Vienna, 2016
- The Haunted Island, Center of Art Santa Mónica, Barcelona, 2016
- Tediousphilia, Photo50, London, 2016
- The Epilogue, Ivorypress Gallery, Madrid, 2015
- The Epilogue, Fotodok, Utrech, 2015
- The Epilogue, Athens PhotoFestival, 2015
- Asexuals, Gallery Sous Les Etoiles, NY, 2014
- Thinspiration, PhotoEspaña, 2014
- Thinspiration, Amelie A. Wallace Galley, 2014
- Tediousphilia Dummy Milan »MIA | Milan Image Art Fair« (May), in Dublin »PhotoIreland Festival« (July), in Paris »Le Bal« (September), and in Kassel »6. Fotobookfestival« (October).
- Thinspiration, Lodz FotoFestiwal, Poland, 2013
- Thinspiration, Center of Art Santa Mónica, Barcelona, 2013
- A Bad Day Multimedia at the 3rd Lumix Festival, Hannover, Germany, 2012
- A Bad Day Multimedia at the Sarajevo Winter Festival, Bosnia, 2012
- A Bad Day Multimedia at the New York Photo Festival 2011, New York, 2011
Awards, Fellowships and Residences
- Prix de la Photo Madame Figaro – Arles, 2016
- Images Festival Book Award, 2016
- Premio Revelación Photo España, 2016
- Nominated Prix Pictet, 2015/2014
- Nominated Foam Paul Huf Award, 2015
- Shortlisted Paris Photo-Aperture Book, 2014
- Shortlisted Photo España Book Award, 2014
- Shortlisted Kassel Photobook Award, 2013
- Nominated Joop Swart Masterclass, 2012/2014
- Nominated Magnum Foundation, 2012/2014
- Juror’s choice Award CENTER, 2013
- Shortlisted FotoVisura Grant, 2013
- Finalist Burn Emerging Photo Fund., 2012
- Finalist Multimedia, 2012
- Pl(a)tform, Fotomuseum Winterthur, 2011
- FABRICA Schoolarship, 2009-2011
- Finalist Ian Parry Award, 2009/10
+34 646 17 06 97
Currently in Barcelona
Lectures and Public Presentations
- ‘Editor vs Photographer, guest lecturer, University of Communication, Sevilla, 2014
- ‘On Eating Disorders’ artist talk, SUNY College at Old Westbury, New York, 2014
- ‘Editor vs Photographer’, guest teacher, School of Visual Arts, New York, 2014
- ‘Intimacy photography and Personal Projects’, guest teacher, Postgraduate Studies, IDEP, Barcelona, 2014
- ‘Editor vs Photographer’, guest teacher, El Observatorio School, Barcelona, 2013
- ‘Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Photobooks* But Were Afraid to Ask’ workshops together with Ramon Pez, El Observatorio School, Barcelona, 2013
- ‘Post-Photography’, panel discussion, Centre d’Art Santa Mònica, Barcelona, 2013
- ‘On Eating Disorders: Thisnpiration’, book launch, British Journal of Photography temporary sede, Arles, 2012
- ‘On Eating Disorders: Thinspiration’, lecture, Ojo de Pez PhotoMeeting, Barcelona, 2012
- Musée d’Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland
- Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland
- MNAC, Barcelona, Spain
- Lobismuller, RM, 2016 (coming soon)
- The Epilogue, Dewi Lewis Publishing, 2014
- Tediousphilia, Musée de l’Elysée, 2014
- Thinspiration Fanzine, Self-published, 2012
- Photobolsillo Laia Abril, La Fabrica, 2016
- Under35, Collective Catalogue, Ivorypress, 2015
- Diccionario de Fotógrafos Españoles, La Fabrica, 2014
- From Here On, Collective Catalogue, RM, 2013