In the 1970s, Michał Cała began shooting the ironworks, slagheaps, power stations and coal mines of northern Poland, and the workers who lived among them in soot-blackened housing. The astonishing results won him awards – and a spell in jail
Conceived as a rebuttal to Donald Trump’s false claims about terror attacks in Sweden in February this year, Last Night in Sweden features leading Swedish photographers depicting the country as it really is, warts and all. Published by Max Ström, the first copy will be presented to President Trump and it will then be sent to all members of the US Congress and European parliament
Barcelona is known for its iconic landmarks, but Roc Isern turns his camera to buildings others may tend to look past.
Isern is a technical architect and photographer based in the Catalan capital. Since 2014, he has been capturing the facades of Barcelona’s buildings for tens of thousands of followers on Instagram at @barcelonafacades.
Cropped to exclude context, the minimalist imagery presents the different textures and patterns of the city’s architecture.
“I’m interested in geometrical shapes, patterns, colours and shadows, and obsessed with symmetries and perspective,” he says.
He believes Barcelona’s different districts offer a varied urban style and an “inexhaustible source of possibilities”, allowing him to discover new areas through photography.
Isern is a self-taught photographer and says there has been a learning curve in creating a visual style. “I’ve always loved the straight facade shots, but when I started on Instagram I wasn’t sufficiently dominating the technique to take and edit good photos.”
The trick lies in taking the photo as perpendicular as possible to the building’s facade, and making sure the frame is free of obstacles such as cables, trees and street lights.
“The most visible and accessible part of the architecture are the facades, and if they are shown through photography with sensitivity and good taste, they offer a great reward,” he says.
A selection of our favourite images are below.
Guardian Cities brings together the best in urban photography on Instagram at @guardiancities. Tag your best shots with #guardiancities and we’ll feature our favourites on the account.
DNA evidence taken from the recently exhumed body of Salvador Dalí has shown that he is not the father of a woman who had claimed to be the only child and heir of the eccentric surrealist.
Pilar Abel, a 61-year-old tarot card reader and fortune teller from Girona, has spent the past 10 years trying to prove that she is the fruit of a liaison between her mother and Dalí in 1955.
In June, a court in Madrid ordered the artist’s body to be exhumed after previous attempts to determine paternity had failed. A month later, experts entered the crypt beneath the museum Dalí designed for himself in his home town of Figueres, Catalonia, to take DNA samples from his hair, nails and bones.
However, on Wednesday, the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation, which controls the artist’s lucrative estate – and which had opposed the exhumation – said analysis of the remains had shown that he was not related to Abel.
The foundation said a report submitted to the court by the National Institute of Toxicology and Forensic Sciences had established that Dalí was not her biological father.
“This conclusion comes as no surprise to the foundation, since at no time has there been any evidence of the veracity of an alleged paternity,” it said in a statement. “The foundation is pleased that this report puts an end to an absurd and artificial controversy, and that the figure of Salvador Dalí remains definitively excluded from totally groundless claims.”
It said the DNA samples would be returned shortly, adding: “The Dalí Foundation is also pleased to be able to focus again on the management of its extraordinary artistic legacy and in the promotion of the work and figure of Salvador Dalí.”
Abel told the Spanish newspaper El País that neither she nor her lawyers had yet received the results of the tests. “Until I’ve got official word, they can say what they like,” she said. “I’m not hiding away and no matter what the result is, positive, negative or invalid, I’ll give a press conference to all the media to explain the result.”
She added: “If it comes out negative, I’ll still be la Pilar.”
Abel had claimed that the resemblance between her and the artist was so marked that “the only thing I’m missing is a moustache”, adding that she had first learned of her supposed parentage from the woman she thought was her paternal grandmother.
Abel claims she told her: “I know you aren’t my son’s daughter and that you are the daughter of a great painter, but I love you all the same.” She also noted that her granddaughter was “odd, just like your father”.
Ten years ago, Abel was granted permission to try to extract DNA from skin, hair and hair traces found clinging to Dalí’s death mask. The results proved inconclusive.
A second attempt to retrieve samples followed later that year using material supplied by the artist’s friend and biographer Robert Descharnes.
Although Abel has claimed she never received the results of the second test, Descharnes’ son Nicholas told the Spanish news agency Efe in 2008 that he had learned from the doctor who conducted the tests that they were negative.
Had the DNA evidence supported her claim, Abel would have been heir to a quarter of Dalí’s fortune, which he bequeathed to the Spanish state and the foundation that bears his name and that of his wife and muse, Gala.
The latest twist in the extraordinary saga in the life and death of the surrealist had made headlines around the world – as had the fact that Dalí’s trademark moustache had survived the Grim Reaper’s scything.
Narcís Bardalet, the embalmer who prepared Dalí’s body after his death in 1989 and helped with the exhumation, said he had been thrilled and touched to see the surrealist’s best-known feature once again.
“His moustache is still intact, [like clock hands at] 10 past 10, just as he liked it. It’s a miracle,” he told the Catalan radio station RAC1.
“His face was covered with a silk handkerchief – a magnificent handkerchief … When it was removed, I was delighted to see his moustache was intact … I was quite moved. You could also see his hair.”
Far from the madding crowds of Valencia in eastern Spain, Fernando Abellanas is enjoying the solitude of his unique new studio. But it’s not the airy, light-filled glass and white walls affair you might expect for an architect: it’s a purpose-built desk space that hangs in the underbelly of a major city overpass.
On one “wall” – the concrete pillar that supports the highway above – a detachable structure of plywood boards and metal tubes serve as a desk, chair and shelves. Using the bridge’s beams as rails, Abellanas’ structure can slide on rollers from one side to the other.
It’s an example of what is becoming known as parasite architecture – buildings that cling, perch or sprout from others. The studio took Abellanas, a furniture designer and plumber, just two weeks to build after he discovered the space. He was drawn to its strange mix of materials and location. “Despite being next to trains and with traffic above, it’s a place no one stops to look up at,” he says.
Parasite architecture is a growing trend and ranges from planned projects, such as residential wooden pots installed on Toronto’s CN tower, to makeshift structures – such as Tadashi Kawamata’s artistic tree houses, which he scatters everywhere from New York parks to the Paris Pompidou centre, or the entire illegal “villa” one man built on top of a Beijing condo over the course of six years.
Abellanas says he wasn’t looking for “a feeling of total silence or peace, but rather that sensation you get as a kid of being able to sit and peek at what’s happening around you without being seen – be it in a cabin or a cardboard box in your own house”.
The new phenomenon is partly due to how difficult it has become for many architects to realise their designs for public buildings, explains Ellis Woodman, director of the Architecture Foundation. This has lead to a rise in low-cost, short-term projects, many of which seek to engage local communities in new ways. Woodman gives the example of the boat above the Hayward Gallery on London’s South Bank, and the Blue House Yard in north London’s Wood Green, a work and community space on the site of a car park and defunct council building.
The foundation has created its own parasite, the Antepavillion, a rooftop project above an east London building for which it plans to commission a young architect each year. For 2017, an air duct-shaped structure has been built by PUP Architects as a provocation for local councils to re-think urban planning in the area.
In many cases, pop-ups – such as restaurants, temporary stores and artistic projects – and parasites are much the same thing, but while a pop-up might be a temporary standalone structure, a parasite is often a longer-term intervention in the urban landscape.
Meanwhile, Abellanas says he is self-taught and favours a DIY approach to urban intervention. One of his previous projects involved riding train tracks that were built but never used (the recession killed the state project) in a rudimentary self-built car. In another, he climbed a €24m disused tower block in the vein of skyscraper “roofers”.
Abellanas sees his project as part of a series looking at Valencia’s disused spaces, and despite the obvious opportunity for social commentary, he says he’s not trying to make a statement about the lack of affordable space in the city.
Rents in Spain have grown by 20.9% in the last year, according to housing site Idealista, but thanks to Abellanas’ own ingenuity – and his willingness to work under a busy bridge – he has his own workspace and home.
City authorities are yet to react. “I think they haven’t discovered it yet,” Abellanas says. When they do, he assumes they’ll order him to dismantle it – or that someone will break it or steal its materials. “It’s surviving a lot longer than I thought,” he says. “It’s really well hidden.”
I’ve been taking photographs on the El Rocío pilgrimage for 40 years, and it’s still just as intense an experience as it was the first time. Each year, more than 100 brotherhoods travel to the hermitage at El Rocío from all over Andalucía. I had heard that the Brotherhood of Triana was famous for its richness and its beauty, so in 1976 I decided to travel with them.
I went to their district in Seville, where they start their journey, and it was overwhelming: all the women in these beautiful flamenco dresses; the men just as beautifully dressed up; the horses; the oxen; the heavily decorated hooded wagons, or carretas each family travels with; the silver carreta out front, carrying the simpecado, the banner without sin, that some people venerate even more than the Virgin herself. I didn’t know whether to look left or right, in front or behind.
I’d met a Spanish photographer and was surprised to see he had a huge military duffle bag. He explained that we would be out in the fields for three days, with no shops and nothing to eat. All I had was my camera, 20 rolls of film and a T-shirt.
I kept going back. One time, in 1980, I had nowhere to sleep after we arrived in El Rocío. I was so tired after three days on the road, and needed somewhere to put my bags and films. A woman – I called her the Holy Magdalena – saw me crying. “What’s happening chica?” she said. “Come with me.” From that moment on I was part of Magdalena’s family, along with brother Joaquín and her children, Inmaculada and Marie Lole. One of their nephews, José Antonio, joined later on, and when he got married and had children, he started his own carreta family. This photo, from 2003, is of his wife, María José, washing their daughter, Rocío – in Andalucía, it’s an extremely common name – in a campsite basin at the end of the day.
Life on the camino, or pilgrimage route, is like stepping back in time. In this image you can see the makeshift outdoor kitchen, the bulls in the background, the carreta behind them: those are the things that make the story. It’s about improvising, making do with what you have. Otherwise it’s just a mother bathing her child.
In Andalucía, people are very devoted, but they’re not really churchgoers. They’re baptised and married in church, but for them it’s more about the rituals, the processions. On the camino, they do the rosary in the fields, and mass in the campsite every night. When passing a river, everyone gets baptised with a special El Rocío name. There’s constant singing.
The girls and the women travel with 10-15 dresses. You get so dirty every day, but you have to be clean and smart, so they change all the time. I always wear trousers and walking boots, and they always say: “Oh, María.” (I’m Maria there; Marrie is a little bit difficult.) But I can’t work with a dress on – I have to run after carretas, and bulls. I have to sit on my knees. I have pictures of myself covered in dust.
In 1990, though, I decided to buy a flamenco dress. I took some dancing lessons too. On the Monday evening before we left El Rocío to go back to Seville, there was a big party with soup, sangria and dancing, so I wore my dress for that. You should have seen the faces of the drivers. “Look at her! María! It’s María!” They couldn’t believe it.
Pretty soon after I’d put the dress on, though, people started calling me over – “¡Venga! ¡Venga!” – because there was a newborn calf that had to be baptised. They brought the calf over in their arms, because they know I take pictures of everything, and put it on the table, with a bottle of manzanilla sherry. I was on the wrong side of the table, so I had to clamber underneath and come up on the other side. My dress was almost ruined – but I got the pictures I wanted.
Born: Bergambacht, Holland, 1946.
Trained: “At 17 I was not allowed to go to art school, so I worked as a graphic designer. I took evening classes in drawing and (staged) photography at the Free Academy, The Hague, and taught myself documentary photography.”
Influences: Henri Cartier-Bresson, Eugene Smith, Walker Evans, Bruce Davidson and the location paintings of the 17th century and impressionists.
High Point: “Being adopted in 1980 by the Rocío-Triana families as one of their own. And being given the Dr AH Heineken prize for the arts in 1990, as well as all the grants I have received from the Dutch Arts Council.”
Low point: “I always like to forget trouble as soon as possible.”
Top tip: “Be involved with the people you photograph and show them the pictures you make of them, so they trust you.”
The remains of Salvador Dalí are due to be exhumed on Thursday evening, almost three decades after his death, to help settle a long-running paternity claim from a 61-year-old fortune-teller who insists she is the Spanish artist’s only child.
Dalí, who died in 1989, is buried in a crypt beneath the museum he designed for himself in his home town of Figueres, Catalonia.
At 8pm, once the last visitors of the day have left the building, the 1.5-tonne stone slab that rests above his grave will be lifted so that experts can get to his body to take DNA samples from his bones and teeth.
To guard the privacy of the enigmatic artist, awnings will be put up around the museum to stop drones recording the exhumation.
The DNA recovered from the remains will then be taken to Madrid and compared with samples from Pilar Abel, who claims to be the result of a liaison her mother had with Dalí in 1955.
Abel has been seeking to prove her parentage for the past 10 years and says the physical resemblance to the surrealist painter is so strong “the only thing I’m missing is a moustache”.
She says it was an open secret in her family that the artist was her biological father.
She told the Spanish newspaper El País that she first learned of her true paternity from the woman she said she had thought was her paternal grandmother.
Abel claims she told her: “I know you aren’t my son’s daughter and that you are the daughter of a great painter, but I love you all the same.” She also noted that her granddaughter was “odd just like your father”.
Under Spanish law, Abel would be heir to a quarter of Dalí’s fortune if the DNA supports her contention.
The Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation, which controls the artist’s lucrative estate, had unsuccessfully sought to fight the exhumation by appealing against a judge’s decision late last month to let it go ahead.
As Dalí bequeathed his properties and fortune to the foundation and the Spanish state, Abel has brought her claims against both.
In 2007, Abel was granted permission to try to extract DNA from skin and hair and hair traces found clinging to Dalí’s death mask. However, the results proved inconclusive.
Another attempt to find DNA was made later the same year, using material supplied by the artist’s friend and biographer, Robert Descharnes.
Although Abel has claimed she never received the results of the second test, Descharnes’s son Nicholas told the Spanish news agency Efe in 2008 that he had learned from the doctor who conducted the tests that they were negative.
Abel told the Spanish news agency Europa Press that she was looking forward “to the truth being known once and for all”, adding: “I’m not nervous but happy and positive.”
The results of the latest DNA test are expected in a month or two.
Number 10 Peironcely Street has seen better days. The fresh white paint that coats a warren of long, narrow patios can’t hide the fact that its walls are crumbling, nor can the cover on the well or the rusty manholes keep the rats and mosquitoes at bay.
But it has seen far worse days. In the winter of 1936, the working-class Madrid district of Vallecas in which it stands was pummelled by the bombers that Hitler sent to help Francisco Franco overthrow Spain’s republican government – and rehearse the blitzkrieg tactics later used in the second world war.
Also there, Leica in hand, was Robert Capa. In one of the most famous pictures of the war in which he forged his reputation, the Hungarian photojournalist captured the civilian consequences of the bombing. On the pavement outside the single-storey building, amid the rubble and in front of a shrapnel-chewed facade, sit three children while a woman looks on from the doorway.
The photograph, which Capa took in November or December 1936, appeared in the US, Swiss and French press. Not only did it reveal the deliberate targeting of civilians, it encouraged international volunteers to travel to Spain to join the civil war to fight Franco’s forces.
Today, more than eight decades on, a campaign is under way to have the rundown building protected and declared part of the Spanish capital’s heritage. According to José María Uría of the trade unionist Fundación Anastasio de Gracia, which is coordinating the conservation effort, Capa’s image has acquired an almost legendary status – not least because it was suppressed in Spain during the dictatorship.
“It’s the first image in history that shows the effects of bombing on the more fragile part of society: children,” he says. “It’s not just part of this country’s memory – although it took 40 years for the pictures to be seen here – it’s part of Europe’s memory. It was the impact of this photo that led many people to get involved [in the war].”
With the support of a coalition of international organisations including Germany’s Goethe Institute and the American International Center of Photography – founded by Capa’s younger brother, Cornell, in 1974 – the foundation is hoping to preserve the building. But, equally importantly, it also wants to help those now living behind the still shrapnel-scared walls of No 10. Just as it was when the picture was taken, Vallecas remains one of the most deprived – and fiercely leftwing – areas of Madrid. The block’s 15 small flats, which range from 17 to 28 square metres, currently hold 14 families. Most have only two tiny bedrooms, forcing parents to sleep on sofas so that their children can get a better night’s rest.
Sonia Suárez, who has lived in the building with her husband and two younger children for the past five years, pays more than €300 (£260) a month to live in a home where the disintegrating walls are damp in winter and boiling in summer. The plumbing is shot and the flimsy wooden front door shrinks and expands with the weather. “Things are bad,” she says, pointing to exposed electrical wiring, and peeling back cheap plastic strips to reveal the rotting brick and cement beneath. “There are no windows in the bedrooms, so you can’t breathe. We want to get out and find a decent place to live.”
Suárez only found out about the building’s history after she moved in. A fellow tenant, who died two years ago at the age of 90, was the daughter of a couple who lived in the block when it was bombed.
It’s odd, she says, to think of her children playing in the same spot as those Capa photographed. “We had no idea all the holes were from bombs; looking at the pictures now sends a shiver down your spine.” As the family understands on a daily basis – and as Uría points out – some things in Vallecas haven’t changed since the winter day when Capa peered through his viewfinder.
“The situation of Sonia’s family and of all the residents of Peironcely 10 is something that our society can’t allow. Keeping these people in this state of neglect drags us back to the Spain of 90 years ago, when the building went up and there was no social protection from the government.”
A Spanish court has ordered the remains of Salvador Dalí to be exhumed from his grandiose self-designed last resting place in an attempt to extract DNA for a paternity claim from a woman born in 1956.
Pilar Abel, a tarot card reader and fortune teller from Girona, a city close to Figueres in north-east Spain where both she and the artist were born, has been trying for 10 years to prove that she is his only child and, therefore, under Spanish law, heir to a quarter of his fortune. Abel claims she was conceived during a secret liaison in 1955 and that her mother, Antonia, told her on several occasions that Dalí was her father. She has said the physical resemblance is so close “the only thing I’m missing is a moustache”.
A court in Madrid said Dalí’s body should be exhumed after previous attempts to establish the truth of her claim failed. “The DNA study of the painter’s corpse is necessary due to the lack of other biological or personal remains with which to perform the comparative study,” the ruling said.
Abel’s lawyer said no date had yet been set for the exhumation, but “it could take place as soon as July”.
The Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation, which controls the artist’s estate, swiftly announced it would appeal in the coming days.
Dalí, who died of heart failure in 1989, was buried in a crypt under the stage of the old theatre in his home town, which he had spent years transforming into a museum to his “own genius”. It is the top tourist attraction in the region, attracting 1.3 million visitors in 2015.
Like every other aspect of his life, there has been much debate about the sexuality of the eccentric artist who painted naked women pierced by chests of drawers and watches melting in the sun, once paraded an anteater on a lead, almost suffocated while promenading in a bronze diving helmet and transformed a model lobster into a telephone, remarking he could never understand why telephones were not preserved in ice buckets and served grilled in restaurants.
Some believe Dalí was gay and once had an affair with the poet Federico García Lorca, others that he had feelings for his only sister Ana Maria. Others, however, believe that his sex life was confined to masturbation and voyeurism. His memoirs are spectacularly unreliable, but his account of his father trying to keep him on the straight and narrow by showing him images of body parts hideously disfigured by venereal disease cannot have helped. He once wrote: “Hitler turned me on in the highest.”
In 1929 he met the formidable Gala, a Russian woman born Elena Ivanovna Diakonova who was 10 years his senior and married to his friend Paul Éluard at the time. They married and she became his muse and business manager, but they never had children, possibly partly because she lived for much of the year in a small castle which he was only allowed to visit in her absence and with her written permission. He was shattered by her death in 1982.
Abel says she was conceived in 1955 when her mother was working for a family in Cadaqués, a fishing village near where Dalí’s family had a holiday home and which is also the setting for many of his paintings. Her mother subsequently left the village and married another man.
According to the Spanish newspaper El País, Abel first learned of her true paternity from the woman she said she thought was her paternal grandmother. Abel claims she told her: “I know you aren’t my son’s daughter and that you are the daughter of a great painter, but I love you all the same.” She also remarked that she was “odd just like your father”.
Abel won permission from the courts in 2007 for an attempt to extract DNA from traces of hair and skin clinging to Dalí’s death mask, but the results proved inconclusive.
Later that year an attempt was made to extract DNA from material supplied by the artist’s friend and biographer, Robert Descharnes. Abel claims she never received the results of the second test, but Descharnes’ son Nicholas told the Spanish news agency Efe in 2008 that he had learned from the doctor who conducted the tests that they were negative.“There is no relationship between this woman and Salvador Dalí,” he said.
Abel’s legal claim is against the Spanish treasury and the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation, because Dalí left the state and the foundation his fortune and properties, including the castle where his wife is buried. The foundation now runs three museums and controls lucrative reproduction and licensing rights for an artist whose work has been endlessly exploited in art and advertising.
This is not Abel’s first recourse to the courts. In 2005, she tried to sue the Spanish writer Javier Cercas for €700,000 (£615,000), arguing that a character in his 2001 novel, Soldiers of Salamis, was based on her and that her reputation had suffered as a result. A judge shelved the case.
This year’s Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy will centre on diversity, moving the focus away from familiar European artists and instead “open our doors to the world”.
The 2017 edition of the Summer Exhibition, which next year celebrates its 250th anniversary and is still the world’s largest open-submission art exhibition, was curated by painter and printmaker Eileen Cooper.
Cooper, known best for her colourful, stylised paintings of women, had her first work selected for the Summer Exhibition as a student in the 1970s. She said she wanted to display artists who have never come close to the Royal Academy in the past.
“We couldn’t think of one slogan to sum it up, which is a real drawback,” Cooper recently told the Financial Times. “Our aim is to bring something fresh to the show by finding emerging talent and recruiting more artists from countries as disparate as [the Democratic Republic of the] Congo, Peru, Spain and India, as well as Turkey and Kurdistan.”
She added: “I don’t want to focus on personal politics but we have deliberately looked further afield from the home nations. This year we have an exhibition that’s very rich in terms of geography – we’ve tried to open our doors to the world.”
Entering the Royal Academy’s imposing courtyard, visitors are greeted by Windsculpture VI, a colourful fibreglass sculpture by the Nigerian-British artist Yinka Shonibare, who was also on the selection panel. Cooper described it as a wonderful work, “exploring the notion of harnessing motion and freezing it in a moment of time”.
This year there were 12,000 digital entries, which were narrowed down by the committee to the 1,200 works now hanging in the show. A neon sign of the words “And I said I Love You!” by Tracey Emin, a vast painting by Sean Scully, suspended silver jugs by Cornelia Parker and other pieces by Wolfgang Tillmans, Anish Kapoor and Phyllida Barlow stand alongside amateur artworks by members of the public that made the selection panel’s cut.
In a first for the exhibition, this year will have a performance piece – by Alana Francis – as part of the selection. It will take place on Friday nights in the gallery, involving intimate one-to-one spoken word pieces to individuals.
The show also includes includes three film-makers, with an entire room dedicated to Isaac Julien’s work Western Union: Small Boats, which deals with the subject of refugees travelling across the Atlantic, as well as a new photography series by provocateurs Gilbert and George.
Next year the summer exhibition will celebrate its 250th anniversary. Despite drawing in an annual 200,000 visitors, it has often been scorned by critics, particularly for its inclusion of works by members of the public alongside the RA academicians. All the work in the show is for sale, with the proceeds going towards the RA schools programme. In the 1800s the Morning Post described it as a “parade of the hackneyed and incompetent amongst the little dirty paltry aristocracy of the Royal Academy”.
Cooper, however, said the all-inclusive nature of the show should be embraced. “I believe in the Summer Exhibition,” she told the Financial Times. “I think it is churlish to be negative about something that supports the next generation.”
• The Summer Exhibition is at the Royal Academy, London W1J, 13 June – 20 August.