São Paulo, Brazil
2005 - 2008
text by Ronaldo Entler
Photography and the metropolis have a common history, both are typical phenomenon of modern times, products of technical rationality turned to the masses as useful objects or dedicated to contemplation. In this coexistence, the city offers itself to photography as a support and photography welcomes the city as a privileged theme where both experience crisis due to their expansion and pressure of its barriers.
Since its origin, photography has placed itself in an ambiguous position: Was presented as a precise way of record, but tried to assert itself as an aesthetic form of expression open to subjectivity.
Instead of addressing this dual nature, history has conducted it to a split: On one side a documentary orientation, the photo-journalism, the scientific research, the legal proof, the social complaint; on the other its possibilities of manipulation, its dialogues with painting then with leading movements, other contamination of different techniques until its presence in art galleries.
The symbolic barrier that separates art from documentation was never less threatened by both sides. Today, a more systematic and conscious invasion of these territories puts at risk the categories we use to understand photography but recover the value of its complexity that took us a long time to recognize.
What we see in this work are negotiated images, poses that do not hide the influence of the photographer on the environment. The result is consciously built. It is a work of engaged expression but that avoids drama through the rigor of a game that the photographer suggests to himself: to look at windows, from windows, something that reflects our fragmentary experience with the city. By making these manipulations clear, these images still remain valid as a document, nevertheless make us face reality and touch wounds felt daily. Makes us reflect about our cities, parallel to photography also in its problems.
The city expands itself and constitutes an even more problematic crisis because it finds the pressure of barriers that are both symbolic and physical: regions, neighborhoods and surroundings, but also walls and geographical accidents. In its attempt of accommodation: builds, destroy, reconstructs, leaves and redefines its spaces. Today, some wishes are unanimous: We must revitalize our cities. But its significance is somewhat controversial: Modify its duties and functions or just the landscape? Reorganize it or promote an aseptic? Change its habits or also its inhabitants? These images do not offer an answer, but talk about the complexity of the forces that are at stake. Show the decadence of the materials and the dignity that survives behind them. Recalls that the field of architecture is not only the concrete. Reveals the absurdity of an urban policy that does not integrate its inhabitants into society but protects them from it and vice-versa.
This is just another meeting between photography and the city, but much emblematic of what is behind their respective crisis. At the end, it leaves us to discuss the legitimacy of some demarcated areas or unlike, of the movements that leads them to its transgressions.