sábado, 18 de maio de 2013

"4 in ÉVORA"

a Pequena Galeria, Lisboa (de 26 de Abril a 11 de Maio, 2013)

Palácio D. Manuel, Évora (de 17 de Maio a 8 de Junho)

Fotografias de / Photographs by António Carrapato, João Cutileiro, Pedro Lobo. José M. Rodrigues

IMG_6280(Pedro Lobo)

The exhibition gathers four photographers who reside and work in Évora, one of whom is better known as a sculptor, although he has long been involved in photography. They were brought together in Lisbon, for an exhibition at the “Pequena Galeria”, under the name “Grupo de Évora” (Évora Group); an opportunity for the simultaneous recognition of four bodies of work of great importance and varying visibility, that share the light of the same city. There are not, amongst all of them, complicities of work , nor do they share a common network of relations; some of them didn’t know each other personally before they were presented the challenge of congregating their work. But, in a city that has been fertile when it comes to the emergence of artists and collective initiatives, an exceptional - even unique, in the whole of the country - concentration of talents and established careers in photography also arose.

Known as a photojournalist and correspondent in Alentejo for various publications, ANTÓNIO CARRAPATO (Reguengos de Monsaraz, 1966) has appeared in a number of exhibitions, of varying notability (the latest being “O Riso”, at the EDP foundation); An ultimately observant regard, marked by humour, attention to the significant random moment, and an iconic and fraternal approach to the quotidian (and also a critical one, although not exterior to the reality addressed - “Nós” (“We”) was the title of an exhibition at the Museum of Évora, in 2009). For this display, a number of his already “classic” images, both in colour and black and white, were chosen, taken from an itinerary in Alentejo that has also travelled through other “European” paths.

Sculptor JOÃO CUTILEIRO (Lisbon, 1937 - residing in Évora since 1985) has a parallel body of work in photography that was made public for the first time in 1961, discretely published in 1971 (photographs of Monsaraz in José Cutileiro’s book A Portuguese Rural Society, Oxford, Clarendon Press; along other photographs by Gérard Castello-Lopes), and that has been extended and renovated to this day. Portraits of friends, that are now re-exhibited alongside some new works, selected amongst those who have departed, constitute a very extensive collection that started in the 1950s and was extended during his stay in London in the 1960s. It is a vast gallery of artists and intellectuals of reference, that awaits publication, as a major document, autobiography and photographic creation in a genre - portrait - that is rarely performed as systematically and as close to the quotidian. There are eloquent transits between the sculpture of bodies and faces, and their respective photography. Nudes and the photography of their sculptures are other parallel domains visited by the photographer-sculptor.

Pedro Lobo came from Brazil (Rio de Janeiro, 1954) to establish himself in Évora about three years ago, bringing along an already extensive and recognized body of work. A recent series, devoted to the religious imaginary in Portugal and in Brazil combined with his interest in issues relating to cultural heritage, that he named “In Nomine Fidei”, is presented through a selection of records taken from old churches in the  Lezírias and Alentejo, where the image of the sacred becomes more intimate and moving, from the strong presence of the marks of time and material ruin. Photographing the death of images can be a form of conceiving the chaos of the world, and the end of transcendental ambitions - or the need for such ambitions. By using smaller-than-standard formats, and by displaying the photographs in old frames that were found, Pedro Lobo made them into always different - nearly unique - closer and more intense photographic objects.

José M. Rodrigues (Lisbon, 1951) - recipient of the Pessoa Prize in 1999 - is the most acclaimed of the Évora photographers. He came to the city after his career in the Netherlands (1969 - 1993). He presents a sequence of six recent and unpublished photographs; a set that is emblematic of his work, and of the way it transcends the documental dimension of photography, becoming a radically personal artistic creation where reality and memory, nature and the meaning of life are questioned. In the set, a self-portrait, the presence of water (Alqueva), a subtle eroticism, the strangeness of things and places caught in quotidian reality, and the creation of object compositions of symbolic intent. He displayed them in silver boxes, resorting to a device the partially hides them, enhancing the enigmatic nature of the images and demanding the complicity of the viewer, turning the images into objects.

Alexandre Pomar

(trad. João André Abreu -  www.joaoandreabreu.com )


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