El Raval, a neighbourhood in Barcelona as fascinating as wild, is home to La Filmoteca de Catalunya. An astonishing entity that stretches and tenses its surroundings like a giant inside a suitcase, it crashes against the urban and social tissue. And still, it also defies time, making us believe that it was always a part of the neighbourhood, that it was always there.

Inside, the opposite happens. Where there was tension before now there’s shelter. The building takes its visitor by their hand, whether on their way to the functional spaces or down to the natural darkness of the screening rooms.

All this omnipresent duality and tension are particularly attractive and poetic to the photographer’s eye. Again, we can see the contradictions: how to represent the building’s changing rhythms, the crashes that occur in it, the interaction between light and matter. It’s impossible not to be inexorably dragged in by this question without an answer.

Video: Jesús Arenas Mesa

Music: Combray

© 2015

Produced in collaboration with Mateo Arquitectura and the kind support of the Filmoteca de Catalunya staff