┐ roots & fruits #15 – Nuno Venâncio └

141_1it reads: We are looking for the sky in between the leafs. Text by Boris.

6913_13it reads: Here, the sun gives us no light, only new shadows. Different ways to face the darkness. Text by Boris.

19217_7it reads: People insist on coming to meet our gaze, invading it. Text by Boris.

2329© Nuno Venâncio, from the series 10 Metros de Cabo/10 Meters of Cable.

Here, easy beauty is eliminated, fulminated, by force, through chock and discontinuity.
Here, there’s no attempt to make sense. We try for symmetry not in the form but in the content – there are casual symmetries in the photographic objects, particularly in those where there is no such deliberation – the irony of everyday events (the symmetry with people is something no one looks out for in the everydayness, except in a staging situation or with some pervert god).
Photographs per se are not symmetrical, there’s no effort to achieve such a valance. In fact, they are askew. The relations between the objects. Everything with its notorious everydayness: each image the start of a journey, coming from a primary need to find out what is around us, in front of us, and grasp it, so that it helps with location, knowing where to go and understanding other places.
There is a constant demand, a quest for something to call our own or something we miss; there is also a searching for a moment, that special visual glimpse, that we can keep before it turns into something else. As if hastily looking for a piece of paper where to hastily scribble in order not to lose a single detail.

Text by Boris, 2013; translation by Sofia Silva.

┐ roots & fruits #13 – Ricardo Baltazar └

essen 048essen 049Untitled (4)_1essen 027essen 030© Ricardo Baltazer, all Untitled, from the series Touching from a Distance, 2012

Ricardo’s project Touching from a Distance was shot in Essen, Germany, in 2012. All images are blow-ups of snapshots he took while paving the streets. Inevitably, they refer to the distance between the author and the subject portrayed, as they speak about the desire to get closer. These blow-ups are attempted gazes, attempts at assuring the account of oneself while trying to look at his surroundings. They are as much voyeuristic as they are introspective, in the sense that what one does while looking desperately out, is trying for a way in.

The camera, as an automaton one can trigger to mediate the space between the self and the other, is always a transparent and potentially authentic way of speaking about the way the author is trying to connect. To view the world through a camera is not to connect with it. Either you are in an impulsive rational process of trying to see beyond reality or you choose to try to be in the present. So this is about the process less than it is about the result. The framing, the composition, the colors, are singular points amidst an abstract composition where the lines are created between people’s gazes.

We know what blow-ups looks like, how they all resemble surveillance stills and evoke the invasion of privacy. I’d like to reference Michael Haneke’s Caché about the contemporary obsession with security which comes to be a way of spreading the false notion of power and control over one’s life. What Ricardo exposes here is the opposite, the notion of fragility, as he lets us know of his state of exception, as a foreigner, behaving as an alien who is forced to document his life through the looks of others, in order to prove his existence.

┐ roots & fruits #11 – Tiago Casanova └

© Tiago Casanova, all Untitled, from the project The Unknown Island

“The airplane begins to descend. Madeira is down there. From far we can understand the feeling that the fifteenth century discoverers had when they saw Madeira (= Wood) for the first time, and from there we can easily guess the origin of the name. An intensive tropical vegetation fills and covers the island of green, but I cannot help but noticing the various urban clusters, scattered houses, roads and highways and the megalomaniac construction of the new airport. The constructed confronts the natural on a dual mode. Large scars are open, but the consummation of the act makes the built elements part of the landscape. This new landscape causes both fascination and disbelief and it is as beautiful as ugly. (…)”

09/11/11 – (1st Day) – *Excerpt and Polaroids from my Travel Diary do Madeira Island

To see more of Tiago‘s work go here

┐ roots & fruits #10 – Cláudio Ferreira └

© Cláudio Ferreira, all Untitled, from the series Space Project nº 1 – Galaxies, 2012

“And yet, the absence of the subject does not have to be interpreted as a deficiency. Quite the opposite, it could indicate a new quality in the revolution, in a henceforth molecular revolution, and the primacy of multiplicity within it. When the subject is missing, it has not just gone amiss, as a gap (still) gaping and begging to get closed. In view of the composition of the molecular revolution there is no need for unification, or for the representation of a unified (class) subject by leaders, party and vanguard. The rejection of the primacy of the class, or of a specific class (be it the proletariat, or a middle-class threatened by decline) does not in any way imply tuning out the hierarchizing differentiation that takes place more radically than ever in current capitalist production. Differential capitalism striates the differences, hierarchizes and valorizes them. And yet molecular multiplicity raises no hopes in any of the imaginings of resistance against this machinic-differentiating capitalism that undertake to homogenize and totalize differences. Even in their negative manifestation there is no way back ahead of multiplicity, but only its dis/continuous unfolding.

But even the subject, the one, the whole, where it is no longer absent, is not the consequence of a process of collecting, forming, unifying the many, the singular, the dispersed, to be composed into a molar block. It does not follow a logic of addition, but one of subtraction. It must first be extracted from the uncountable multiplicity, detached, dis-counted in order to be one. The one emerges only when the logic of counting, classifying and identifying lays its grids on the multiplicity; when the uncountable is domesticated in the process of counting.

The subject can appear only through subtraction from the multiple.”

excerpt from Making Multiplicity: A Philosophical Manifesto, by Gerald Raunig. continue reading here

More of Cláudio‘s work here

┐ roots & fruits #9 – Miguel Godinho └

© Miguel Godinho, Untitled, from the series Esta é a minha família (This is my family), 2011

© Miguel Godinho, 38 years old (left) + 40 years old (right), from the series 16-06-1950, 2008

© Miguel Godinho, Untitled, from the series Family, 2005

© Miguel Godinho, Untitled (left + right), from the series Entre nós (Amongst us), 2010

Miguel Godinho’s (b. 1984) photography is not easy to describe, not because it is abstract, overly conceptualized or devoided of content, but because it is simple (albeit symbolic) and unpretentious.

Miguel’s body of work fluctuates between intimate moments and a sterile portrait (in the composition) of the world around him. The domestic scenes reveal some kind of obsession with the question of identity, dependent on family history and memory. On the other hand, the outdoor photographs accentuate the distance between nature/landscape and an environment built/invaded by man.

While the images vary from landscapes, portraits and still life, the empty spaces within the narrative allow us not only to understand the author’s personal journey as well as how it forms part of a sociological portrait of his country and its culture.

More of Miguel’s work here

┐ roots & fruits #6 – Rui Dias Monteiro └

© Rui Dias Monteiro, Untitled, from Figure in the Landscape, 2011

© Rui Dias Monteiro, Untitled, from Caia Caía, 2011

© Rui Dias Monteiro, Untitled, from Figure in the Landscape, 2011

© Rui Dias Monteiro, Untitled, from O Sabor da Casca, 2009

More of Rui’s work here and here

┐ roots & fruits #5 – Tito Mouraz └

© Tito Mouraz, Untitled, from the series Leitura(s)

© Tito Mouraz, Untitled, from the series Leitura(s)

© Tito Mouraz, Untitled, from the series Finally, No One

© Tito Mouraz, Untitled, from the series Finally, No One

“There has been, since ever, an almost innate obsession for space and its domain through the most varied forms and ways. This domain goes several times beyond intended expectations, such as, self-control that we could or should have about something to which we call “place”, where things happen, grow and bloom, since space is, in its entire definition, more genuine, original and infinite.
When we think about space, our reminiscence bring us immediately for a certain “place” where this can or not evoke good memories, passed situations or even situations/circumstances that might be about to happen.
It is, in these spaces, that the most diverse “objects” emerge or stanch, creating some kind of symbiosis between these two phenomenons. These “objects” many times create and have the gift to give life to spaces through an almost divine force that overlaps to some other thing.
It is clear that this tendency has two sides, on one hand, we have the filling of space through the “object” that occupies its place, metamorphosing what it would be an original landscape (shall we say) and on the other hand, we have the filling of that same place with aberrations that time decided to abandon and live it at drift.
Although these fillings could be considered ambiguous, it is necessary to regard that the beauty of things is in its essence, and frequently, an old van in a putrefaction state in the middle of a ravine can have its beauty, although not everybody agrees with that.
In this way, these are the questions of the presented project, the insertion of perfectly banal “objects” from the common day, incorporated in a space that beside being for everyone, it won a captive place in the soul of the represented “object”, as if, and in a natural way, embraces and creates since the beginning an almost inseparable bond with its own landscape.
Is this real? Or is this the purest of the falsehoods? I cannot find the answer for this question. The most probable is the existence of an alliance that allows a harmony between the two exposed perspectives.
As it can be verified here in the images presented, the spaces can be only constituted for the space itself, trying in this way, to establish one relation between this same space and the notion of the evolving emptiness for itself, even knowing or perceiving that the emptiness acquires a characteristic almost apparent, because it cannot, several times, link to reality as it is known. Therefore, there are two questions which we consider fundamental: the question of the inserted space, such as in time, as in “place”, and the question of time inserted and modified with the presence of an inanimate “object” that is or belonged to everyday life, but that now represents in all is fullness, the magnitude of the presence that is inserted in the same space.”

The author

More of Tito’s work here

┐ roots & fruits #4 – João Varela └

© João Varela, Untitled, from de Toerist

© João Varela, Untitled, from de Toerist

© João Varela, Untitled, from de Toerist

© João Varela, Untitled, from de Toerist

“De Toerist came about in November 2010 when I went to study at AKV|St.Joost in Breda, Netherlands.

As I arrived there, the weather was really different than the one that I was used to. This was one of the many difficulties that I had among others such as renting a house, language barrier and the adaptation to the classes.

With all of these feelings coming to me, I always felt like a tourist and never a proper dutch. So I decided to document the first two months of my journey in the Netherlands. I began to photograph small, not-so-important things that I stumbled on, always with a saying by german photographer Wolfgang Tillmans in my head: If one thing matters, everything matters. Week after week I photographed what I came across, what caught my eye and the situations that I thought were the key to tell my story.

From the approached themes, I must highlight the ones that have particular importance to my project as I was obceced photographing them: the big windows that unveil the private life of dutch people, the various trips I made within the region and the school space that I photographed in order to have a remembrance to the future and also to identify myself with her. Some of my inspirations through this process were the photographs of Stephen Shore, William Eggleston and Robert Frank. They were my references on the approach to the subject, or even on the subject choose.

The title arose from a photo of a building that I was constantly passing by when I was doing my daily circuit: home-school-home. This was like a methaphore to me, because I really felt like a tourist.”

More of João’s work here

┐ roots & fruits #1 – Ana Marta └

© Ana Marta, Untitled, from the series Palm Trees don’t belong here, Porto Santo, Portugal, 2012

© Ana Marta, Untitled, from the series Palm Trees don’t belong here, Porto Santo, Portugal, 2012

© Ana Marta, Untitled, from the series Palm Trees don’t belong here, Porto Santo, Portugal, 2012

© Ana Marta, Untitled, from the series Palm Trees don’t belong here, Porto Santo, Portugal, 2012

“Porto Santo is a summer tourist destination on the island of Madeira, appreciated for its natural resources, particularly for its beaches. However, in winter, this fascinating place is forgotten and left to cry (…) The title “Palm Trees don’t belong here” is a metaphor for the occupation of the territory and the marks left by humans in nature.
The Palm Tree, an exotic imported species, is a counterpoint to the Dragon Tree, a local indigenous species and one of the symbols of Porto Santo. The work focuses on the control and occupation of a space with its geographic, physical, social and economic limitations.”

Ana Marta’s statement

Despite her young age, Ana Marta has been working with photography for more than a decade. During these last few years, the expected mutations of a path made out of enthusiasm and discovery, have given way to a strong aesthetic and a very cohesive evolution in the way she is learning to deal with her subjects.

Today, the way in which Ana Marta merges social matters with a careful composition of the landscape where they belong denotes the same careful way with which she observes the world and the place each occupies in it.

In the coming years, I would expect Ana Marta’s craftiness and courage will help her portray, report, denounce and add content to our visual realm. The documentary style can be redundant, and so can be working in series, though here we will not run that risk given that these images now made cautiously will soon become fearless and turn out to be what they were always meant to…

by Sofia Silva

The rest of the series can be seen here