Change is something that we have for granted during our journey. Get out of our comfort zone is perhaps the most difficult task to perform. Choose if we are from those who look to the horizon, know the way but remain static under the shell look at those who liberated from it and dreaming for something different or if you are from those who unsure of the destination, run with a joyful and adventurous spirit to pursuit happiness. I deeply believe that the important thing in life is the journey and this is a path that will be defined by our choices and challenges. Each curve is a change. I also believe that the real obstacle to change are ourself and that the unknown is always with open arms waiting for us. The path to it is something that starts within each one. Take the first step without knowing the distance to the solid ground is an impulsive act and often requires little thought but it usually has a reward associated. Throughout my life I have traced a path with few straights lines with the plainness and joy of one who knows that happiness is always around the corner
Again thank you for visiting and sharing this moment.
I’ve always felt fascinated by how humans express their emotions , how they behave , interact and relate to each other. I try in some of my projects to work these issues . So it was with this in which I reflected a bit on a concept that sometimes serves us and others serves from us.
And when faced with our end, we only have a handful of intent to discuss endlessly with other tavern fellow?
The addiction can function as food for the soul. The tool of dreamers to withstand the reality that crosses in the way. May have a dual role, on one hand acts as a stimulus that puts us at the intersection between the real and the fictional, on the other hand may guide us in this choice and make us prisoners of our illusions. Find the exit door and deal with the imperfection of life presents itself as one of the real challenges of the human being.
The church clock had already struck nine in the morning. Despite some rays of sunshine peeking through, the day showed a graying tint, referring us to the inside of a melancholic and heartbreaking dome, empty of movement. Everything looked fake at that hour. Even the birdsongs were strange, certainly sung by obligation or even done in playback. Nothing seemed right. In that simple village something was happening, or simply, nothing new happened. The morning dew drowned the breathing of the plants that sighed by the absence of heat. The house doors were scrupulously closed, forcing us to construct the key and, through our imagination, penetrate into their interior. The grim obligation to do what’s right, what parents passed on as God’s will, led some, few, inhabitants of this quiet village to rise to meet the wishes of this superior Being. They were well in their quarters but…
Saturday. Dawn offered us a funeral. The sad look displayed on the faces of the few that were present was mere falsehood.
– Poor man, the wine stole his life… – Someone said at the back.
– Wine… He drank stronger things, if it had only been wine he’d still be alive! – replied Mr. Intelligence who was also there.
– Since his wife left him it was a debacle! Thankfully they had no kids or today they would be wretched!
The interest of the conversation boiled down to this false lament of the few who, almost by obligation, were at Manel Careca’s funeral. Men with their cigarettes were chatting outside the mortuary. Recounted moments experienced in youth snickering of adventures remembered.
– Do you remember Tono the blue famel i had? Now that used to fly.
– How about that chick that came here during vacation to spend a few days with her Aunt? The one who was Dr. Miro’s niece… Jesus, now she was hot! She had these tits… – Joint laughter – No one has heard of her in a long time!
Thus they killed time outside the chapel. On the inside, from time to time, another lament would be heard about poor Manel’s death.
– Why is the coffin closed? – Asked Gina Carucha.
– It seems the doctor said that it was best because he was already all rotten inside!
– Who told you Aunt Rosa?
– It was that woman who lives near the factory… That one… Now no idea of her name comes to mind.
– He was a young man… He had no luck in life! – Someone lamented.
– Luck? He was always a fool who always did nonsense… Always clinging to his guitar saying he wanted to be a singer! Never wanted anything to do with work, he used to work in the factory then he quit!
He was always vagrant!
I even think that by living this mundane life that he has his soul at risk in the presence of God. – Concluded Aunt Rosa.
– Didn’t he have a sister abroad? – Someone asked.
– Yes, in England, close to my sister Laurinda. She could have taken him there to cure himself…
– There’s wine there too! – They all snickered
– But at least he would be close to her so she could help him and he wouldn’t be here bothering others. We should take care of our own! That’s why we are here.
– I hadn’t seen him in awhile…
– I saw him just last week drunk as a car!
The conversations were being summarized to these nostalgic memories of a personality undoubtedly, very well liked in his community.
Between a look at a clock and the blowing of a nose, the time was running in a slow fast like pace that was required by those present. Every time someone new walked into the mortuary, they would, meticulously, place the funeral masks full of false sentiments of pain and respect. We were certainly in the presence of the most valuable piece calligraphed in partnership by Aeschylus and Sophocles that, oining their more exquisite wisdom, wrote this tragic-comic fragment. However gentleman, it was not being shown in festivals in honor of Dionysus, but to be lived in a final memory of the elementary Manel Careca that, as this God, had chosen wine and festivals as food for his soul in life. In the fullness of his faculties those present judged the deceased in his presence. This one, closed within that wooden box, had no right to defense, because apart from being closed in a box he was also dead. Who said? They did.
This lovely court of Osiris didn’t need the presence of the forty-two Gods, much less Osiris himself. Enough were there to judge. Even before the heart of the deceased was weighed, behold the priest arrived in the company of the undeetaker.
Everyone stood up as the prior passed to the alter. The faces filled with cynical sadness watched and were observed.
The speaker began the ceremony.
– In the name of the Father, of the Son and the Holy Spirit.
– Brothers, we are gathered here to celebrate the funeral of this our brother who, by God’s will, left for the Kingdom of Heaven. God knows what He does!
Since he was run over, he has not come back from his slumber. He fought more then two months against death, despite being in a coma, but God’s will was to call him to his side, liberating his soul from the suffering of his body.
Let us pray…
Photography: Sérgio Moreira
Text: Adão Baptista
The path is made forward according to a set of principles or of opportunities that arise and to which we cling. But it also is made of getting in some doors from the past that we leave open if only to remember. After a number of months to devote myself to the conceptual photography of which resulted, among other works, the project “a state of mind” and after deciding that I would not take the path of event photography, I returned to the fashion stage for a brief passage by a parade which aimed to raise funds for a new community center. The peaceful and long hours dedicated to the creative and writing process prior to the images were replaced by the normal stress and the speed and sagacity in click typical in this type of events. It was nice to return to the past. I thank to the organization for the invitation and to the models for all the sympathy and dedication.
Vai decorrer no dia 27 de Abril de 2013 nas instalações do Exército de Salvação um workshop de fotografia. Tem o preço de 25 euros que revertem para as acções sociais que a instituição desenvolve. Está limitado a 15 participantes.
The human being is evil by definition with some brief flashes of goodness to the mix. We left the womb naked of prejudices but soon we acculturate. We live deluded when faced with the reality of death and this illusion darkens our days… we tread, mistreat and insult. We entered in a sort of crusade that ceases only when the neighbor’s misfortune is imminent and has no return. Then, we’re happy!
The quest for material goods governs our social footprint where even our friendships are calculated and will be valued or devalued in key moments of this search.
The more trophies we put in our shelf the more we step away from certain values that we only recover when we are hampered by our mortal condition. At that moment we find two of the humanity’s keywords, faith and hope, those we should have as dogmas of human’s life essence. I think that at that point we realize the true insignificance of things and of those that did surround us.
I believe that at the end of the journey we’re ready for its beginning.
Fausto opened his eyes. Glanced at the clock placed in an amorphous way on the dresser of the room and noticed it was 23 minutes past five p.m.. He had managed to sleep for almost two hours on a roll.
There was no body part that did not feel pain. His companions returned. He quickly grabbed the cloth off the bedside table and began to vomit. Vomiting was such that she felt his soul being torn off by the bowels. Then it stopped.
He wiped his mouth to one end of the dry cloth. The smell of vomit bothered him a bit but … he was accustomed. He wrapped the cloth and threw it to the floor. With a simple gesture he grabbed the pill off the table and put it in his mouth. He took a sip of water to push through the pharynx.
Laid his body keeping his head high.
Noticed the crucifix that was religiously placed next to the clock. The Book of the before and after was also open, simple object of adornment. He remembered that he had no salvation. He remembered that the pancreatic cancer, despite all the radio and chemotherapy had decided not to go away. He recalled the doctor’s cold words: “terminal phase”.
He felt wronged. As the Lord before his eyes also Fausto would leave this earth at the age of thirty-three. There was however a slight difference between the two of them: while the Other had been buried on the top of a rock, Fausto would be buried in a hole.
He cursed. He even scolded with the Higher Being because he thought he deserved to live a few more years. He did not know what to think. He did not want to think. A simple outburst of anger came from his mouth – “Fuck God and the saints.”
He dropped his head on the pillow. Elevated the mind and, with open eyes, began to daydream about strange things. Men with square heads, dogs with five paws and women without arms. In a glance he felt drawn back to reality. The vomiting returned.
He grabbed another cloth. Vomited. He wiped his mouth and threw the cloth to the foot of the bed. The pain increased. He took the seal of morphine and stuck it on the chest.
While rubbing the abdomen with both hands he let out a faint moan, “My God, My God … why have you forsaken me?”.
He grabbed the rosary off the bedside table and began:
– “Glory to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning now and forever Amen …”
I have reached a moment in which my career as photographer begins to be defined. First there was a phase in which my camera was an extension of my body and I recorded all everyday moments. Then I lived a calmer period in which the camera only left the bag for recording something of special significance (that was learnt with the usage of film). Now I only use my photographic equipment when I need to communicate something. I try to share my thoughts, feelings and reflections, through photography,
That was what happened in this project in which I tried to use images to socially portray and criticize an era and an absolutely wonderful society with unique characteristics in human history. I have inspired myself in Detroit and the boroughs of Bristol and I tried to use these spaces to portray some moments in the 1980s. To me, this period sets a nearer and nearer approach to the end of a society based on mercantilism turning into one that doesn’t take care of the means to achieve endings and one that uses the individual man ignoring his identity and ambitions and submitting him to a process of social massification. A society that exchanged from a Keynesian economic model of state intervention in economy, at the end of the 1970s, into a more liberal model without much state regulation which brought social consequences and changed the structure of our lives. It is the beginning of a new world problem, still actual which presents some emerging countries labelled as third world which are rapidly are becoming, through a group of unfair and inhumane practices (such as miserable salaries, child labour), into countries endowed with a group of financial groups that dictate commercial rules impeaching our state of executing a protectionist policy or favouring home industrial growth facing this strong competition remaining no other choice but to submit to the will of lobbies.
The people, nourished with an ideal of life becomes slave to consumerism and ends up to live the life he is allowed to. This project tells about several states of mind that are formed during that slavery. It portrays the moments lived by people and that undress them from their human side and are seen as productive means and potential market for products, having in mind the profit more and more wanted. It tells you about the capacity of such groups to change human expectation, dreams and courses. To sum up… it tells about lives… inside a model of living. Each image represents a moment, a short period of a character living this era and helps to understand my representation of the mentality, habits, culture and the society of this time. The project “State of Mind” is a work that shows moments of daily routine of common lives. They are experiences lived in a society where human values and social principles tend to fade in confront with industrial and economical alienation. There is a total lack of glamour. It is real life far from big cosmopolitan centres. It is marginal life where days and tasks repeat in monotonous and cold ways. They are situation that unbalance and stir our being in a permanent way. It is also me… or you… anytime.
This is a project made by me and the writer/teacher Adão Batista, a friend from my university times that is transforming into words the images and thoughts that come. Someone who understood the sense of the project and has transformed it, improved it and be-wondered me, text after text. To my project mate, my deep thank you for these sharing moments.
It’s one of those phrases that we repeat constantly year after year. The resolutions for a new year mean the projection of something better… some part in our life’s where we fail or could do differently… but maybe for accommodation, laziness, or whatever it is… they are rarely achieved. This year that is ending I finally stop smoking (good for me, I know) … I think it was the only resolution that stick … and now? how it will be for 2013? let’s be realistic … let’s keep it simple!
At the end of 2012 I see that it was a warm year in terms of conceptual photography. Being a teacher and photographer sometimes not an easy task and leaves me little time to develop the ideas that continue to accumulate. This was a year in which I did not dedicated much to my personal projects despite being the year that I did more exhibitions and had more projection in physical spaces. I decided that next year I will shake things up a bit. In 2013’ll choose at least two projects I have in mind for some time and I will try to develop them. I decided that this time I will involve some writer friends that I personally admire. I’m looking forward … we’ll see how things go … regardless of the results I already feel the excitement of the beginning of the project … the ideas are starting to flow into my notebook … I feel that urge to have results … I feel the sound of Diana Krall while choose and edit … I feel a little more alive … and that’s what photography represents for me … life!
HAVE A FABULOUS NEW YEAR!!
The project ‘Anne’ will be again in exhibition from November 14.
Now the chosen place is the Regional Museum of Paredes de Coura.
My thanks to the city council of Paredes de Coura and to professor Armando Lopes for all the support.