Photographs of animals and fake news

Animal lovers aren’t a particular type of human beings. Any deviation from this assessment would be, I think, discriminatory. Patterns tend to arise when, in an effort to synthesize, we shorten the analysis phase. Populism gallops this wave: people behave more like irrational animals – reacting and acting on instincts – and less like the…

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Class, privilege and photography

Is the condition of being ignorant essential to being privileged? Not exactly. However, most of us, when in a privileged situation, ignore its condition and thus speak about such situation with disregard for the complex web of circumstances that has led us there. We make it sound like it’s simple and say things like anyone…

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Life as soap opera (not everything is instagramable)

Caption (image above): photograph of Bianca Devins found on instagram Photography has been transformed by instagram. I now feel it’s an undeniable fact that I’ve taken a long time to accept. We’ve seen how young students have been influenced by this social network. From the square format to the characteristic seductive quality of their imagery,…

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Therapeutic Photography (part I)

Caption (image above): Digital offset reproduction of an instant portrait of my mother and her best friend Lena, painted with crayons; 1 of many tests. (by Sofia Silva, 2018). Starting this series of posts about therapeutic photography and authors working with it, I’d like to make some very brief distinctions between phototherapy, therapeutic photography, art…

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Experimental work and printing techniques (part X)

Caption (image above): ‘One Love, One Heart #5’, linocut printing on fabric with embroidery over digitized photographs (by Sofia Silva). More about Jennifer West‘s work here.  Rita Gonzalez, author of Jennifer West: Across Time and Through Media (excerpts): West came out of DIY media scenes in the Pacific Northwest in the 1990s, where e robust…

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Experimental work and printing techniques (part IX)

Caption (image above): therapeutic photography + scanography (by Sofia Silva). More about Enoc Perez‘s work here.  Enoc Perez’s new photo collages engage with social media, appropriation, and the artist’s consistent and inventive search for new forms. Sourcing images from the internet of minimally dressed or nude women, from amateur selfies to more professional photos, Perez…

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Experimental work and printing techniques (part VIII)

Caption (image above): scanography (by Sofia Silva).   More about Deborah Turbeville‘s work here.  Deborah Turbeville was one of the most revered fashion photographers working during the 1970s and ’80s, and her legacy has shifted the way we view women in fashion imagery. Beginning as fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar, Turbeville’s entry into image making…

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Experimental work and printing techniques (part VII)

Caption (image above): lumen/chemigram (by Sofia Silva).   More about Ross Faircloth‘s work here.  Ross Faircloth about Dark Grandeur (excerpt): This series of works focuses on the darkroom and printing aspect of photography as a means for pure expression, as the camera and act of photographing takes backstage, or a supporting role. This is accomplished by…

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Photography and awe (photographs not taken)

caption (image above): untitled, Sofia Silva (2019). Doing snapshots, I often photograph out of awe. I’m easily dazzled by natural events and living by the sea, on the Atlantic coast, sets the perfect conditions for nature to reveal its sublime impression. Although I’m conscious of the awe effect, I never instantaneously react to it. In…

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Experimental work and printing techniques (part VI)

Caption (image above): lumen/chemigram (by Sofia Silva)   More about William Miller‘s work here.  William Miller about Ruined Polaroids: “With its first use I realized the camera wasn’t functioning properly. It sometimes spills out 2 pictures at a time and the film often gets stuck in the gears, exposing and mangling the images in unpredictable…

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Traces

photo caption (image above): Intervention on stone by unknown author, Sintra, 2019. * * * More of Marília‘s work can be seen here. * * * More of Ana‘s work can be seen here. * * * A conversation between Marta Romero and Dana Nechman can be read here.

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A cross-cultural tale of migration

photo caption (image above): © Alia Ali, BORDERLAND Series, 107 cm x 72 cm. Pigment Print on Cotton Rag 310 gr. 1 AP + 1 EP + 5 Editions, 2017. ALIA ALI “Alia Ali (1985) is a Yemeni-Bosnian-American multi-media artist”. Her work with fabric and thread is present throughout her entire body of work, referencing…

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Visual Narratives by Martin Kollar

Caption (photo above: image from Kollar’s book Field Trip. Source: STET Photography Editions. More of Kollar’s work here.  I’d say this is the exception and not the rule: sometimes authors’ statements about their work really add to it. I think this is the case: a brief and sincere text about the emotional experience that results…

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The press loves this, but who else does?

caption: © Elizaveta Porodina, portrait of Lily D. Moore, for Radical Beauty Project. I came across this project through a very complimentary review in the Guardian. The Radical Beauty Project is about “challenging opinions”, questioning perceptions about beauty. It brings together people with down’s syndrome and “40 renowned fashion and art photographers”. In creative director…

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Soraya Vasconcelos

image caption (above): © Soraya Vasconcelos, untitled, digital c-print, 122×163 cm, 2007. More of Soraya’s recent work can be seen here.   Models of “territories” are constructed with organic matter and inorganic material: paint, pigments, varnishes, wax, plaster… There is a process of constructionIs it possible to formulate a general theory of artistic collaboration? And…

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Ramona Guntert

For quite some time I made very simple posts showcasing artwork from authors who used photography in a way that somehow interested me. Back to the old ways here are some images from Ramona Guntert‘s work. Some words from the author about her own work here.     excerpt from a conversation between Ramona Guntert…

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Where have all the graveyards gone?

Still from HyperNormalisation showing journalist Daniel Pearl. This is mostly a critic of Adam Curtis‘ work for the show Mezzanine XXI, performed by Massive Attack, although their curating act is equally up for critics. I went to their concert a few days ago, in Lisbon, and was ill impressed (to say the least). I knew…

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Art is Not Propaganda, an editorial

Here is the editorial I’ve written for Propeller #3, about Propaganda. This editorial introduces a series of great essays, namely: Fire Inside, by Pete Brook, Propaganda and photography at the front door, by Teresa Mendes Flores, and Shooting in the name of (and now you do what they told ya): Photojournalism – keeping the status…

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From Icon to Splendor – about Valter Ventura’s ‘Light and Darkness’

The following text is a short and edited version of the essay written about Valter Ventura‘s exhibition Light and Darkness, (“Compêndio de observações fotográficas: luz e cegueira”), produced specifically for the Lisbon Municipal Photographic Archive. The full original version was published in the respective catalog. Several mythological narratives account for the gods’ will to punish…

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From Africa to Sweden to Brazil: the problem with cultural appropriation (in the age of social networking)

caption: unknown author, at Stockholm Pride Festival In the past few weeks several events concerning cultural appropriation have motivated public discussions. I’ll be focusing on three: Gucci’s blackface jumper, Amanda Lind‘s dreadlocks and Donata Meirelles birthday photograph with two black women wearing traditional Bahian outfits. The fact that I’m appropriating these events in order to talk about cultural…

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