The project Alex Larsen aims to capture for the world’s nations

Alex Larsen Luis Basílica Madrid For the first time in 20 years, I’m at home in Barcelona. I used to rent an apartment on Monteleon when I lived in Barcelona, but had to move…

The project Alex Larsen aims to capture for the world's nations

Alex Larsen

Luis Basílica Madrid

For the first time in 20 years, I’m at home in Barcelona. I used to rent an apartment on Monteleon when I lived in Barcelona, but had to move when I moved abroad, and ended up in Madrid, where I rented an apartment as an alternative. For years, my girlfriend went to Barcelona on holiday, but I had pretty much lived there until now. We started this project a year ago, to document all the places she visited and the things she’d seen. We started with just a handful of places and then began looking to cities around the world, in particular New York and San Francisco.

I’m usually on deadline – our whole project is a five-year project – so the majority of what we photograph, we publish on Facebook. We don’t use the word “photo book”, because it’s a brand that’s quite old. We prefer “postcard” instead. It’s a small, modular book in black and white and framed in our publisher’s very cool pulp shop from Berlin. It’s priced at €30 ($35), but once we go live, it will be up to us to decide on shipping to wherever we are.

The photo in question

Luis Basílica Madrid

The book’s cover is based on that of a central doorway in New York. I think there’s some kind of connection between the two. I usually take photos where there’s a central space and never of people, which is why I think that doorway photograph is very appropriate. In the beginning, I probably just had good luck: it wasn’t that hard to get in and walk around. Now I also have to walk in streets that are extremely crowded – you can’t just walk around with a camera – but the first day I wasn’t going to do that. I just set up my equipment in the doorway and got a moment to breathe.

The iconic image

Luis Basílica Madrid

We hope people will bring lots of photos with them and share them online, and everyone will have a personal connection with the project. That’s what Luis did at our New York launch when he posted the photo above on Instagram. He then posted it to his friends. It’s a chance that we don’t get very often. Before they knew it, he had 200 new followers and 40 people there at the event in Manhattan.

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