Roberto Aguirrezabala with ‘Samizdat’ photobook (2022)
Roberto Aguirrezabala with the artist book ‘Samizdat’ (2022)

Self-Publishing as Resistance is an e-commerce project by Roberto Aguirrezabala. Works of the author such as the most recent artist books, special editions, photographs, etc. can be purchased.

More information, news and recent work: www.robertoaguirrezabala.com


Roberto Aguirrezabala holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from the University of the Basque Country. His multidisciplinary training in audiovisuals, new technologies, sculpture and painting has led him to develop photographic work of an essay nature, a synthesis between documentary and fiction, which coexists with intervened objects, installation and drawing to explore the conflicts, both of identity as social and political, of the individual through historical memory. He has published six artist books: Hidden Book (2023), Samizdat (2022), Two Thousand Words (2021), Fascism + Apocalyptic (2020), Antimanifesto (2020) and War Edition (2019, as well as the monograph Entropy (2016). His current research in publishing focuses on in limited editions made entirely by hand, where the book object concept is the fundamental axis.

In the course of his artistic career he has won several awards and grants: Honorable Mention in the Photobook Award 2023 at Encontros da Imagem (Braga, Portugal); Grant for artistic research, creation and production in the field of visual arts, Ministry of Culture, Spain 2023, 2022, 2020; Shortlisted at Les Rencontres de la Photographie D’Arles 2022; Plastic Arts Basque Government Grant 2023, 2022, 2020 and 2019 in the Publications Modality; Shortlisted at the Singapore International Photography Festival 2022 (SIPF); 3rd Prize Winner of the Photobook Award EI2022 – Encontros da Imagem, Braga, Portugal; Finalist in the Lucie Photobook Prize 2021; Shortlisted at Les Rencontres de la Photographie D’Arles 2021; VI City of Móstoles Artist Book Award 2021; Grant for Creation by VEGAP 2020; Finalist in the X y IX Pilar Citoler International Biennial Award for Contemporary Photography 2019 and 2017; Montehermoso Award in the Viphoto Festival 2018; First prize V Premio Ankaria Foundation 2018; Plastic Arts Basque Government Grant, Publications modality 2019, 2018; Finalist in the Best Photography Book of the Year Award, PHotoESPAÑA 2019; Acquisition Award at the XX Sala El Brocense Plastic Arts Prize 2017; Photographer of the Year in the International Photography Awards IPA 2017, Spanish edition; Special mention PHotoEspaña, Photography Award, ENAIRE Foundation 2017; Plastic Arts Basque Government Grants 2016, 2010; Bilbao Arte Foundation Grants 2015, 2010; First Prize Best Work of net.art X Canariasmediafest, Festival Internacional de Vídeo y Multimedia de Canarias 2002; Generación 2001, Caja Madrid Grant; Award to the revelation artist in Festival de Vídeo de Navarra 1998.

He has held several solo exhibitions, including particularly: War Museum, Montehermoso Cultural Center, Vitoria, 2019; Entropy, Bilbao Arte Foundation, 2016; Roberto Aguirrezabala, net.art 1998-2008, Centro Huarte de Arte Contemporáneo, curated by Roberta Bosco and Stefano Caldana, 2008. His work has been seen in numerous international group exhibitions such as: SCAN Tarragona 2022, Festival Internacional de Fotografía; Revela’T Festival 2022, Vilassar de Dalt, Barcelona; Festival PhotoBookWeek Aarhus 2021, Dinamarca; The discreet charm of technology. Arts in Spain, 2008, MEIAC in Spain, ZKM in Germany, Instituto Tomie Ohtake in São Paulo, Brasil; net.art in the Spanish Pavilion, Universal Exposition Hannover 2000; 12º Rencontres Internationales 2007, Paris, Berlin, Madrid.


My work has an eminently multidisciplinary character. Photography coexists with manipulated objects and installations to explore different aspects of conflict in relation to identity, the social, the political or within the individual. My photographic work cannot be framed within the realm of reportage although it contains numerous connections with the documental and I frequently focus on themes drawn from the daily press or historical memory. I am most interested in photography as essay, as a tool for reflection and debate. Through each object I create, I attempt to explore a specific moment in 20th century history as if it were in open dialogue with our present reality, a dialogue with its tensions and confrontations. I dramatize in a theatrical way this dialectic. It is fiction but at the same time documental in nature. Every object that I introduce in the works, every single detail, clothing, props for the protagonists and backgrounds, are rigorously selected originals from the epoch I am dealing with, and as such, are all part of reality and history. These elements add a documentary component which is essential. When I finally press the shutter release button two or three months of preproduction have already taken place. A necessary period of time, in which different elements, objects and texts have been added or removed in the process of developing and focusing on specific ideas. Debate and dialogue arise throughout this process and in an attempt to bridge the gap between art and society, I preserve this context of tension in the final image in order to convey to the viewer an accessible narration in which he or she can be part of.

Full BIO in english

Currículum completo en español