Excerpt of a conversation between João Henriques and me. Full interview here: pt / en

João Henriques – There is an interesting subject that you focus here, that is the one of not driving the analysis that is done by the spectator. Do you think is somehow important that the spectator is made responsible by what he sees, while building his own meaning, in a perspective that I believe was mentioned by Jean Marc Bustamante on the no-direction of the photographer for the spectator? On the other hand the can it be that the refusal to produce a statement or to supply some explanation may lead to the shipwreck of the work for the speculation of undesired meanings done by third?

Sofia Silva – I wouldn’t say he should be made responsible, I’d rather say conscious, in other words, I think it would be important that the spectator took conscience that the reading he’s doing is the result of his education, culture and free association and that the superficial interpretation of a group of images is not enough to form a widespread opinion on an author’s work. As a spectator, I make an effort to be conscious and informed, to avoid making such superficial judgements, because I believe that the majority of the authors create because they have something to say. But this is me… and I’m aware that I make this effort because it’s what I’d like to be given back. Now, in fact, while photographers, we hold the cheese and the knife in our hands, that is to say that we have the semiotic and the linguistic code to our disposition and we can guide the spectator in any direction we want to. I like the images to speak for themselves. I don’t believe they would sink without an explanation and if it happens it is because the work has failed. We cannot get to all, nor can we demand that the people take time with the images; however I have to admit that I am particularly sensitive to certain illations, as for instance that the purpose of my work is to shock. May it be clear that it isn’t, but I don’t feel I have to justify myself on that.

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