In Perfect Day, Txema Salvans photographs Spain's holiday-makers in unexpected corners of the postindustrial landscape. Sunbathers congregate in car parks, swimming pools are nestled between encroaching buildings, and cranes and cooling towers loom over beaches. In these surreal, banal and humorous scenes, Salvans reveals how the pursuit of leisure persists in spite of the ominous pressures of the built environment, expressing a deeply human determination to adapt, and find repose, against the odds.
Although many of these photographs were made near the sea, the sea itself remains invisible: a silent, implicit witness and a backcloth that has been inverted. Instead, we see – in a literal sense – what the images’ subjects want to turn their back on. Beneath the surface of these scrupulously composed tableaux are potent questions about class, national identity, and the politics of space: a depiction of simple pleasures advocating our rights to them.