Monday, March 31, 2014

INTERVIEW on photography and art*

‘The illiteracy of the future … will be ignorance not of reading or writing, but of photography,”
Baudelaire quoted by Walter Benjamin
"Place of experience, or skin" © Miguel Proença
original "Lugar da experiência, ou pele"
 The projects that interest me the most are documentary based, preferably long term
“The projects that interest me the most are documentary based, preferably long term”. Two of these have been published, “Artes e Artimanhas da Terra para o Mar," about the Ria Formosa (Ria Formosa wetlands) with text by Raquel Delgado Martins in 2000, and “Alqueva, paisagem que muda, povo que espera," about the environmental transformations brought about by the Alqueva dam and in the Aldeia da Luz, “with text by António Oliveira Soares”, in 2007. His work has been published in regional and national level publications and newspapers, “Although the 'exhibition-book” format interests me the most. It is the perfect combination between the ephemeral and long lasting. If the photo book is a privileged and intimate form to view and read images, live prints have an amazement of their own. The reproduction of a photographic image is a different object. One of my professional activities is the reproduction of works of art. Another is photographing people.

Anything that transmits creative energy is art

Photographing works of art “is technically demanding and requires a chain of production, from the capture of the image to its adjusted and calibrated reproduction. Once these conditions are in place, when I work on my personal work I almost don´t have to think about technique and all attention is focused on what is being photographed. Another question raised by this activity, is the contact with other authors and their work, which is very educational”. For this author photography can be seen as art, “Anything that transmits creative energy is art”. I work in photography and the work I produce results from a creative process”.

Ideally the grasp of the technical is sufficient to not interfere in the photographic act

“As in any creative domain, the idea points the way and the technical aspects adapt. When questions emerge, be they theoretical or technical, solutions are sought out. Ideally the grasp of the technical is sufficient as not to interfere in the photographic act, otherwise it will occupy a mental space that becomes unavailable for “seeing”.
There are differences between art, advertising and documental images. “Although the final use is different, the categories are not isolated vessels and change over time”. “For example, images commissioned by the Salazar regime to create a modern idea of Portugal were initially used as propaganda/advertising and today are considered art. In other words, the documental property is always associated to photography. The other properties not necessarily, and time clarifies those relationships,” […] “in the case of the use of photography, particularly in the pictorialist form for salons and publications, by the Salazar regime to establish the modern façade abroad, photography suffered a major setback in relation to Europe.” […] “Of course that as a privileged means of communication through newspapers and magazines, photography was a pillar to the visual education of this country.” “One of the great exceptions to this situation was Fernando Lemos, who exhibited for the first time in 1952 in Lisbon. A short while later he “exchanged the homeland where he was born, Portugal, for the one that he is still helping to build, Brazil”.

Skin as a sensorial frontier, the receptor of stimuli that participate in constructing memory and the relationship with the world

Photographers that he admires, “I have to mention the work of Nuno Calvet, one of the major figures in our photography at the end of the century, work that continues to inspire me today, for the light that makes strange”. There are others, “Fernando Lemos, the separation of destiny based on what exists and what we create,”[…] “São Trindade, photography as a personal journal”. “Paulo Nozolino with his emotional charge,” […] “Pepe Diniz with surprising portraits, as are those of Céu Guarda”. “Paulo Catrica” and his persistent production, António Júlio Duarte and José Manuel Rodrigues whose work continues to surprise”.
On the work for the exhibition at the Palácio da Galeria as part of the “Geografias Variáveis," “The idea of the 'place of experience” (tittle), is that of skin as a sensorial frontier, the receptor of stimuli that participate in construction of memory and the relationship with the world.”

* Interview On Photography, art, image and photographers.  interview by Paula Ferro. The interview was conducted in the context of the “Geografias Variáveis” exhibit, that took place in the Palácio da Galeria in Tavira from March to June 2008, and was published in “Postal do Algarve”- 17 April 17 2008. Excerpts.

Links: Benjamin quote , Paula Ferro (Journalist & Photographer)
Photographers: António Júlio Duarte, Céu Guarda, Fernando LemosJosé Manuel Rodrigues,
Nuno Calvet, Paulo Catrica, Pepe Diniz, São Trindade

entrevista em Português > 

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