Do they know of Salazar?

April, 2015: Público, a daily newspaper, published an article by author Vítor Belanciano entitled Esqueçam as grandes marcas, o verdadeiro luxo é a autenticidade (“Forget the big brand, the real luxury is authenticity”), following a conference organized by Monocle, which brought together, in Lisbon, an elite of market groupies from all over the world, ready to discuss the ingredients of the so called “tourism of authenticity”. The title of the article was apparently justified by a statement from Monocle’s director Tyler Brûlé, who said that “[t]he new definition of luxury is not big brands, which are similar everywhere, but the authenticity, the history, the memory, that’s what brings people to the cities” (n. p.). Monocle is both a trend magazine and a brand, whose success interferes directly on the markets. Belanciano mentions the existence of “an environment where one can breathe authenticity”, i.e., a context where what is most appreciated is the affective value of commodities. In other words, that “environment of authenticity” is dependent on the narrowing of the gap that separates capitalist and libertarian ideologies: the mediated consumption is labeled as inauthentic and the more direct trade is elevated to the ideal of authenticity, even if that market is mediated by the capitalist society all the same.

Tyler Brûlé is Monocle”, wrote another portuguese newspaper, following the same conference. The “trends’ guru” apparently discovered what is so trendy about Lisbon. According to him, “the grass needs to keep on growing in the portuguese cobblestone […] for it reveals personality, otherwise it would be as if the city had too much botox. If the cities go through excessive plastic surgery they start to gain a different personality, and the authenticity is lost” (n. p.). So imperfection is marketable as long as it is also prone to gentrification. The values evoked in this simplified view of what is marketable and touristic are not that different from the romantic perspective that ruled over the eighteen century: one keeps on associating authenticity with manufacturing and proximity, as one keeps on allocating the aura in singularity; on the other hand inauthenticity is equated with mechanical reproduction and the mediation that separates the producer from the consumer.

Monocle’s strategy is to celebrate a cool life, and for that they associate the idea of coolness with the ideal of authenticity. Dedicated to celebrate and promote and healthy living, right in the middle of the neighborhoods, with access to local produce, Monocle has dedicated several articles to the so called portugalidade (“portuguese flare”?) and this is where Catarina Portas comes in.

Note: let me had that I live right in the lion’s mouth, Campo de Ourique, the Lisbon neighborhood Monocle can’t stop promoting.
Patricia de Melo Moreira for The New York Times
© Patrícia de Melo Moreira, photograph published in “The New York Times”.

A Vida Portuguesa (understood as “The Portuguese Life” or “Portuguese Way of Living”), is Portas’ enterprise. Created in 2007, it is a brand that aims to resurrect the traditional market and promote historical products. As Portas herself states to Monocle, her target audience is both the elderly people who can no longer find their products in the local stores (called Drogarias), as well as “fine-art students who enjoy the atmosphere”. A Vida Portuguesa’s blog highlights the fact that Catarina Portas has been promoted by Monocle to the category of “global hero”. In fact, Monocle has countless articles praising Portas’ market vision. But this is what troubles me: is it possible that because many of the products promoted by her brand reference the portuguese dictatorship (the period known as Estado Novo) that they also suggest a conservative and nostalgic understanding of the concept behind that “portuguese way of living”? I think the answer is a plain yes.

In the Manifest made available in the brand’s site one mentions identity, saudade “(that nostalgic and untranslatable longing)” and the power of memory, and of the products one concludes that “[t]hey are trademarked in our memories and represent a way of life. They evoke the everyday life of another time and reveal the soul of a country. These are our products. This is who we are”. Although there are similarities between this “manifest” and the kind of fundamentalist discourse that tends to praise the “national values”, when asked by Monocle, Portas states that her project “is tied to identity, not nostalgia, which is very different”. Is it?

livros a vida portuguesa
Books sold by “A Vida Portuguesa”. Some are promoted with the following statement: “These books, of the ancient primary school, evoke the childhood times of a senior portuguese generation.”

Historian Pedro Duarte reflects upon a possible connection between capitalism and fascism by looking at the Vida Portuguesa brand and highlights the importance of identity, authority and myth for such a reflection. On one side, Duarte places the “makers of identity”, obsessed with the conquest of a secure lexicon of identity related symbols; on the opposite site, Duarte places the “destroyers of identity”, who contest any form that goes against the natural dynamics that the passing of time brings upon the different notions of identity. Portas isn’t comfortable in none of these sides: she doesn’t shy away from the chance to promote the importance of memory for the conservation of the concept of “national identity”, but she also plays the game of neoliberals, promoting the economy of tourism and the importance of innovation.

These “trademarks of our memory”, consumed both by locals and by tourists, find in A Vida Portuguesa the perfect “way of being portuguese”. However, if and while addressing tourism Portas’ strategy doesn’t seem to offend, being innovative only as far as she manages to bring together a manufacturing industry that is spread across the country; while addressing the local consumers I immediately question their selective memory. Duarte sums it up:

Fascism was an historical period where the construction of an identity was placed at the core of political action, that way attaining the media, architecture, city planning, art, school curriculum, history books, dictionaries and encyclopedias. National identity reproduced itself […] the political power went deep into the lives and individual consciences. And with it, “a vida portuguesa”, that inventive idea of the duo Salazar/Ferro, of which all the material work of the regime constituted an active propaganda. (my translation)

From “A Vida Portuguesa” catalog.

Concerning design, the term authenticity designates the conformity between a style of a product and the period it references, being that a work will be labeled as authentic if it abides by the premises of its origins. But besides that stylistic concordance, the authenticity of a design also abides by a barometer of nostalgic induction, meaning the success of that design will be valued in retrospect to its capacity to arise sensations and feelings that are dated, from the period the product evokes.

The gentrification promoted by the Portas Empire is not a problem of its own, as the third store of A Vida Portuguesa, located in Intendente, suggests. Intendente is the capital’s most gentrified neighborhood (debatable). It used to be a marginalized neighborhood, mainly because of its drugs and sex markets. I studied there, by night, during those times, and although I witnessed a lot of fucked up things, its fame was always worse that what really went on in the streets. The neighborhood’s recent gentrification, with the promotion of retro/vintage/manufacturing markets, brought in a different population and dynamics to Intendente. Of course, the housing prizes went up and a communal feeling apparently took over the individualization that the neighborhood “used to promote”. It’s true, Indentende today is a place of gathering, but what it continues to leave outside of its “campus” is everything that does not abide by the ideal of “a portuguese way of living”.

From “A Vida Portuguesa” catalog.

February 2016: the New York Times places Intendente in the map and urges Americans to travel to Lisbon and visit Portas’ store. But do they know of Salazar? What gives them the right to praise the importance of local stores without addressing the history of Salazar and its traces, printed all over the city? Is this our inheritance? Do we sleep next to Portas’ products and throw away the history books and the echoes of a colonial war?

As more and more entrepreneurs take over the discourse of authenticity and go for the revival of the traditional market place, I have the feeling we keep going back in time and what we are in fact witnessing is a reactionary and neoliberal movement which mistakes the need to preserve history with a nostalgic way of living…

٠ Embroidering photographs is more than a trend ٠

charlotte© Stacey Page, Charlotte.

paula© Stacey Page, Paula, 2011.

todd© Stacey Page, Todd, 2011.

Embroidered photographs have been a trend for some time now and Nihilsentimentalgia has featured examples of such work, like Maurizio Anzeri, Melissa Zexter, Julie Cockburn or David Catá. It so happens that the technique keeps coming up and their makers are enjoying a good deal of promotion and success, which doesn’t say much, since the art market is extremely easy to seduce and exploit, but it’s worth taking a second look.

02Meyer_New_JErseyII_Meyer© Diane Meyer, New Jersey II, from the series Time spent that might otherwise be forgotten.

12Meyer_TheWest© Diane Meyer, The West I, from the series Time spent that might otherwise be forgotten.

There is no denying that on aesthetic, formal and material levels, the result is grand and appealing: the combination of the flat old surface with the new textural one, the combination of the industrial and the handmade, the combination of desaturated images with vibrant thread colours, it all amounts to what seems to be a complex creation with different surfaces and different readings. But is that the case?

I recently cross paths with four more examples of authors working in the field that joins photography and embroidery, namely: Stacey Page, Diane Meyer, Laura McKellar and Hinke Schreuders. They share more than the technical approach to their work: they are all women, they intervene mainly in portraits (Diane Meyer being the exception, for she looks at architecture with a new look), they use striking colour and they mix the old with the new. The trend here is not so much the crossing between the mediums but the revivalist and nostalgic feeling which seems to be taking over all the cultural dimensions, from the visual arts to music and emphasis on fashion.

embroidery© Laura McKellar, Untitled, embroidery.

tumblr_ll2o3ftbQ01qk3loio1_1280 copy© Laura McKellar, Untitled, embroidery.

The fact that they share the same gender has a particular important dimension, for the work with thread is a form of affective labour, which productive value is hard to figure out. The relation between the worker and the work produced is literally bounded by a thread, so it confronts the prevailing idea of the alienated worker that is more of a manager than a producer of things (or ideas for that matter). Although most of these works have little else than their aesthetic surface, their biggest achievement is the evoking of the nostalgic feeling. The hyper-aestheticized surface of the digital photographs and the absurd use of photoshop tools have given a second life to alternative processes, for people lack a sense of materiality and the handprint of the author.

In one interview, author Melissa Zexter says: The photographs were also of anonymous figures and the sewing acted as a map or grid over the figures. For me, sewing was another way to build up a surface and to build upon the content of my photographs. I loved the meditative process of sewing – it was in such contrast to the technologically more immediate art of photography. I was also interested in how thread blended in and reacted to the photographs. The combination of sewing and photography brought together two very different processes that I love. The use of embroidery is a reaction to the photographs and is a process that aids in the transformation of identity of the person or place being photographed.

[to be continued]

worksonpaper7© Hinke Schreuders, works on paper #7.

worksonpaper36 © Hinke Schreuders, works on paper #36.

worksonpaper37© Hinke Schreuders, works on paper #37.

٠ IT sounds like western music, therefore… ٠

M0013743 Hearing aid for constant use© Wellcome Library, Hearing aid for constant use. Two light cornets of imitation tortoiseshell joined by metal spring forming a head-band. Introduction of this form of instrument attributed to Napoleon’s surgeon D. J. Larrey (1776-1842).19th Century.

‘Authenticity’ is a matter of interpretation which is made and fought for from within a cultural and, thus, historicised position. It is ascribed, not inscribed. […] Thus, rather than ask what (piece of music, or activity) is being authenticated, in this article I ask who.

[…] In rock discourse, the term [‘authenticity’] has frequently been used to define a style of writing or performing, particularly anything associated with the practices of the singer/songwriter, where attributes of intimacy (just Joni Mitchell and her zither) and immediacy (in the sense of unmediated forms of sound production) tend to connote authenticity. It is used in a socio-economic sense, to refer to the social standing of the musician. It is used to determine the supposed reasons she has for working, whether her primary felt responsibility is to herself, her art, her public, or her bank balance. It is used to bestow integrity, or its lack, on a performer, such that an ‘authentic’ performer exhibits realism, lack of pretence, or the like. Note that these usages do not mutually exclude one another, nor do they necessarily coincide, and that all are applied from the outside.

[…] For Richard Middleton, any approach to music which aims to contextualise it as cultural expression must foreground discussion of ‘authenticity’, since ‘honesty (truth to cultural experience) becomes the validating criterion of musical value’ (Middleton 1990, p. 127). In rock discourse, this validating criterion is reinterpreted as ‘unmediated expression’, by which is assumed the possibility of the communication of emotional content (inherent possibly in the music itself, but certainly at least in the performance) untrammelled by the difficulties attendant on the encoding of meaning in verbal discourse (Moore 2001a, pp. 73-5; 1814).

M0013744 Speaking or conversation tube© Wellcome Library, Used by the very deaf to obviate the need for the close approach of the speaker if the trumpet type of hearing aid is used.19th Century.

[…] The expression I am discussing here is perceived to be authentic because it is unmediated – because the distance between its (mental) origin and its (physical) manifestation is wilfully compressed to nil by those with a motive for so perceiving it. This is thus one basic form of the authenticity primality argument put forward by Taylor (1997, pp. 26-8), wherein an expression is perceived to be authentic if it can be traced to an initiatory instance. This argument surfaces most clearly in academic folk discourse. For Philip Bohlman, identification of the ‘authentic’ requires ‘[the] consistent representation of the origins of a… style’ (Bohlman 1988, p. 10), such that ‘When the presence of the unauthentic [sic] exhibits imbalance with the authentic, pieces cease to be folk music, crossing the border into popular music instead’ (Bohlman 1988, p. 11). Thus, for Bohlman, authenticity is identified by a purity of practice, whereas for Grossberg, it is more clearly identified by an honesty to experience – a subtle distinction perhaps, but one which remains potent. Starting from a very different point, Steven Feld develops a similar line, arguing that ‘authenticity only emerges when it is counter to forces that are trying to screw it up, transform it, dominate it, mess with it . . .’ (Keil and Feld 1994, p. 296), equating authenticity to a concept of genuine culture dependent on the anthropology of Edward Sapir. Bohlman’s identification has found its way into rock discourse, in that proximity to origins entails unmediated contact with those origins: ‘Real instruments were seen to go along with real feelings in Springsteen’s rise: a certain sort of musical and artistic purity going hand in hand with a sincere message’ (Redhead 1990, p. 52). The constructed nature of this interpretation is clarified by comparison with Bob Dylan – in order to achieve the same result in his early work, the ‘real instruments’ he had to employ had not to be amplified, contra Springsteen.

Walser (1993) insists that this is one of two clear types of ‘authenticity’ that can be observed in rock in general, wherein technological mediation (whether a reliance on signal modifiers, ever more powerful means of amplification, and even technical mastery in many spheres) is equated with artifice, reinstating as authentic/inauthentic the distinction between ‘vernacular’ and ‘trained’ or ‘professional’. There is thus a relationship here with an alternative category developed by Taylor, which he terms authenticity of positionality (Taylor 1997, pp. 22-3). Through this, he identifies the authenticity acquired by performers who refuse to ‘sell out’ to commercial interests. Weller exemplifies this again, as do Taylor’s examples of non-Western musicians involved in ‘world music’ – for such musicians, ‘selling out’ appears to equate to ‘sounding like Western musicians’, i.e. by adopting the style codes of pop/rock (which codes, in such an analysis, would be seen as inherent within the individual rather than open to appropriation. (see Moore 2001b)

[…] What unites all these understandings of authenticity is their vector, the physical direction in which they lead. They all relate to an interpretation of the perceived expression of an individual on the part of an audience. Particular acts and sonic gestures (of various kinds) made by particular artists are interpreted by an engaged audience as investing authenticity in those acts and gestures – the audience becomes engaged not with the acts and gestures themselves, but directly with the originator of those acts and gestures. This results in the first pole of my perspective: authenticity of expression, or what I also term ‘first person authenticity’, arises when an originator (composer, performer) succeeds in conveying the impression that his/her utterance is one of integrity, that it represents an attempt to communicate in an unmediated form with an audience.

excerpt from MOORE, A. (2002) Authenticity as Authentication. Popular Music, Vol.21, No.2, pp.209-223.

٠ Locating the (in)authenticities in country music ٠

37574-303r_288_Dolly_Parton© Henry Horenstein, Dolly Parton, Symphony Hall, Boston, MA, 1972, from Honky Tonk: Portraits of Country Music 1972-1981.

37574-513rBWneg_11© Henry Horenstein, Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper, Nashville, TN, 1974. Honky Tonk: Portraits of Country Music 1972-1981.

37574-519rBWneg_Conway_6_adj© Henry Horenstein, Conway Twitty, Annapolis, MD, 1975S, from Honky Tonk: Portraits of Country Music 1972-1981.

Describing country music as a storyteller’s art is no mere attempt to give it an intellectual Benjaminian chic. Its self-conception as “a storyteller’s medium,” widely recognized by scholars, is even clear from the way that “other song elements are generally kept simple to highlight the story. The chord structure is simple and predictable, the melodic range is slight, the rhythm is regular, and the orchestration is sparse or at least clearly in the background so that the words can be understood.” In the words of one country singer-songwriter, “If you can’t hear each word, it ain’t country, son.” Country’s words get their importance not from their specific poetry but from the stories they embody, stories that can capture an audience far beyond those who prefer country’s simple melodies and rhythms. Challenged about his taste for country music, jazz great Charlie Parker replied that he simply loved the stories.

Country’s narratives succeed not only through the elements of tradition, orality, and life-experience that Benjamin notes. Narrative form itself intensifies the pathos and comparative authenticity that country deploys. The progression, development, and anticipation that constitute all narratives contribute to the build-up of emotions. The archetypal commonality of country’s stories (with their focus on fundamental feelings of love, failure, and mourning) serve to trigger emotional memories that reach both deep and wide. And this same archetypal, formulaic simplicity of story-line permits extreme plot condensation, thus promoting emotional intensity by forestalling fatigue of attention.

Condensation and credibility are further enabled by the fact that country’s sung stories are often recognized by listeners as biographically linked to the singer, allowing them to imaginatively enrich the tales through details they know (e.g., George Jones’s bouts of drinking and Garth Brooks’s marital infidelity and reconciliation). To heighten its power of pathos, country thus productively blurs the presumed division between art and life, artistic persona and real individual. Finally, the narrative frame that country deploys is most useful for making contrasts of comparative authenticity that are emotionally charged and hence more convincing. Narrative temporality provides not only the retrospective memory of country’s older days of purer authenticity, but suggests the ongoing struggle to develop or recover greater authenticity in the face of present corruptive pressures.

excerpt from: Shusterman, R. (1999) Moving Truth: Affect and Authenticity in Country Musicals. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Vol.57, No.2, pp.221-233

37574-597rBWneg_9© Henry Horenstein, Patron, Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, Nashville, TN, 1972, from Honky Tonk: Portraits of Country Music 1972-1981.

37574-500rBWneg_6_Adj© Henry Horenstein, The Willis Brothers, Grand Ole Opry, Nashville, TN, 1972, from Honky Tonk: Portraits of Country Music 1972-1981.

37574-320r_416(2)_RalphStanley_lesscontrast© Henry Horenstein, Ralph Stanley, Coeburn, VA, 1974, from Honky Tonk: Portraits of Country Music 1972-1981.

٠ A photographer’s affair with the music scene ٠

consultorio© Vera Marmelo, Consultório, Community art space in Barreiro

luis_02_1000© Vera Marmelo, Luis

Vera Marmelo (b. 1984) is a photographer that came to be very well known in a specific art scene, particularly in the music subsystem of the Lisbon area. She was born in Barreiro, a city facing Lisbon from the other side of Tejo, a city with a very strong sense of community and strong comprehension of how important autonomy and individuality are to redefining culture. So, it could be stated, the natural conditions of her environment conditioned the nest of social relations she started to care for. There is a fizzy underground scene and young people are organized in a community that seems to come together to support each other. They show up in events, bars, concerts, assemblies, etc.

It’s not like this is an ideal place, but these people have strong roots. They’re from a land that is used to resistance and to put of a fight. Needless to say, there is a leftist ideology behind it all. So what makes Vera’s photographs appealing? I suggest it is exactly her proximity to her subjects and the sense of joy and bond her photographs portray.

Writing for the “On the Side Project”, Vera, a professional engineer, explains how photography came into her life: My friends played music and I was around, with a camera in my hands, just for fun, just to give me a reason to hang out with them. […] What started out as an hobby, a reason to hang out with some people and meet new, ended up being a second job, a second life. From 8.30 am until 5.30 pm I am an engineer and then a Photographer for the rest of the day. Weekends don’t exist and I use my vacations to photograph and edit the work.

5492712619_1424623cd8_b© Vera Marmelo, Tiago Sousa

5340531552_c5762cee60_b© Vera Marmelo, Baltazar Molina

Vera photographs a lot. I mean, really a lot. She does the promo shots, she is there for the videoclips, for the side projects, she goes to concerts, she does portraits and she hangs out on weekends with musicians even when no music is playing. And she has cameras and now there is the digital snapshot so there are hundreds of photographs taken by her that you can glimpse at. I’ll put it up front, that’s not what I’m interested in, though this unedited archive will be very relevant as a document of the music and art scene in the Lisbon area in the beginning of the 21st century.

What interests me is her portraiture, specially the one shot on film. The so-called promo shots. Not only are these the ones I can relate to, as photographic objects, but also because they are the ones revealing the thought behind her process of relating to her subjects. The life of these photographs is not on their indexical signs or their configuration, but on the illusion they create. And this illusion is nothing but a document of a reality which, portrayed like this, leaves out the mundane and small verities of the people in them. So these ambiance which Vera shows us, is put up front as a chimera. Vera is a dreamer, no doubt. A believer and an achiever. She gives us happiness, sense of togetherness, wholeness, there’s no strong sense of individuality (not to be mistaken with style or with the jargon of individuality), as if that was never needed.

minta© Vera Marmelo, Minta

samuel uria© Vera Marmelo, Samuel Úria

Of course it’s not everybody’s dream and it references a iconography that is perhaps overworked, but its influences are the same shared by the musicians so it seems genuine. Yes, it’s the same old America, the Christian style, the Brooklin style, the Californian style, the multicultural New-York style. It’s all that but with our Mediterranean light and a clumsier sense of style. Vera’s photographs are so attached to their signifiers that it is as if they don’t have the risk to be over-stylized unless the people in them do.

norberto 14_1000© Vera Marmelo, Norberto Lobo

nick nicotine© Vera Marmelo, Nick Nicotine

Vera should be praised for her commitment to her lifestyle. What these photographs sell is exactly that: a sort of life that is “cool”. And that’s what her public (within the art scene she portrays) wants. She mastered the moment of desire and she managed to find subjects that seems perfectly comfortable as objects of desire. And we get to be witnesses of that exclusivity and that exclusivity is the ultimate price: the privacy of their relation. 

It’s not about whether you studied photography or arts, but about your willingness to challenge visual culture. And how can one do that? If you commit to show people as authentic as they are. Well, of course there are other things beside the notion that you are “selling” a lifestyle. The use of old films, blurriness, appeal to the sense of nostalgia and temporality, so they dislocate our memories to the place of our childhood, for the smiles, the colors, the smilingly genuine happiness in the air.

32c_1000© Vera Marmelo, Orelha Negra

2_1000© Vera Marmelo, Orelha Negra

Things are never about what they are because they are nothing beyond the cultural notion of what convention told they should be. So Vera’s photographs here shown, though beautiful and extremely honest on their own, are a promise of a chimeric land where music will always live.

More of Vera’s work can be seen here and here

┐ roots & fruits #12 – Gonçalo Figueiredo └

© Gonçalo Figueiredo, Lourenço

© Gonçalo Figueiredo, Rita Tavares (left) and Lara Brandão (right), from the series The Protest, 12/2009

© Gonçalo Figueiredo, Ricardo Baltazar (left) and Gonçalo Figueiredo (right), from the series The Protest, 12/2009

These portraits are part of a series made back in the Winter of 2009 and it depicts a group of students from the Photography Department to which Gonçalo also was part, both as a technitian and as a student. In December, confronted with the lack of conditions and materials the course lacked to offer, they decided to camp at school and endure a silent and peaceful protest until they were heard.

“Let us now consider the time exposure, of which the photo-portrait is a concrete instance. Whether of a live or dead person, the portrait is funerary in nature, a monument. Acting as a reminder of times that have died away, it sets up landmarks of the past. This means it reverses the paradox of the snapshot, series to series. Whereas the snapshot refers to the fluency of time without conveying it, the time exposure petrifies the time of the referent and denotes it as departed. Reciprocally, whereas the former freezes the superficial time of the image, the latter releases it. It liberates an autonomous and recurrent temporality, which is the time of remembrance. While the portrait as Denkmal, monument, points to a state in a life that is gone forever, it also offers itself as the possibility of staging that life again and again in memory.

An asymmetrical reciprocity joins the snapshot to the time exposure: whereas the snapshot stole a life it could not return, the time exposure expresses a life that it never received. The time exposure doesn’t refer to life as process, evolution, diachrony, as does the snapshot. It deals with an imaginary life that is autonomous, discontinuous, and reversible, because this life has no location other than the surface of the photograph. By the same token it doesn’t frame that kind of surface-death characteristic of the snapshot, which is the shock of time splitting into not anymore and not yet. It refers to death as the state of what has been: the fixity and defection of time, its absolute zero.


Time exposure implies the antithesis of trauma. Far from blocking speech, it welcomes it openly. Only in time exposure (portrait, landscape, still life, etc.) may photography appear with the continuity of nature. The portrait, for example, may look awkward, but not artificial, as would be the case of a snapshot of an athlete caught in the midst of a jump. When continuity and nature are perceived, speech is apt to body forth that perception in the form of a narrative that meshes the imaginary with the symbolic and organizes our mediation with reality.

The word now, used to describe the kind of temporality involved in time exposures, doesn’t refer to actual time, since it is abstracted from its natural link with here: hic et nunc. It is to be understood as a pause in time, charged with a potential actualization, which will eventually be carried out by speech (or memory as interior speech), and is most probably rooted in the time-consuming act of looking.” excerpt from the article Time Exposure and Snapshot: The Photograph as Paradox, by Thierry de Duve, published in October, Vol. 5, Photography (Summer, 1978), pp. 113-125

More of Gonçalo’s work here