António da Cruz Rodrigues
My photography reveals, or intends to, a world that did not exist, a world which is different from the one that previously existed. That is why I am so fascinated to take photos at places where we are used to pass by with indifference.
The difference, itself, consists in the way I become the owner of each place, trying to understand and getting to know it. Never dominating it. This can only happen when we visit a place repeatedly, flirt with it without its consent, confining it to a single look, also without its permission. It is as if I said “this place is mine”, letting it know this through the photographic image that I show. I consider that we can all own the same material place and being its single owners in the way we look at it.
My creative act and its hypothetical value is not only about the way I confine the place or about the way I establish physical limits over a territory, through an image format that explicitly shows the elements that it contains. My creation is about the abstract ability to go beyond the physical limits that the printed image imposes. The bigger the territory and the physical limit of the printed image, the less I dominate it and more abstract and beautiful it becomes, stimulating my curiosity and ability to inquire.
There is no questioning if the photography is a kind of map that delimits a place, trying to refrain the infinite and therefore killing its magic. The photography should not be a list of explicit elements as if we were shopping at the supermarket. What enchants me in an image is not having a list that defines it, that imposes its limits, that auto-contextualises it.
I am not anxious to show everything in a single photography, as I am not anxious to buy everything or live all at once.
I do not want to be distant from the photographs I take. I want to be part of the places I photograph. I do not want to look at an image as if it was a map that brings me the illusion of owning a territory where I have never been, and which “objectifies” it in order to find a specific meaning or sense. My photographs are meant to be “dis-objectified” (de-objectified) from the photographed place. I intend to go beyond the common sense, without prejudice.
The objectification principle tends to dominate a good part of contemporary society once we assume we should control everything. My photographic work does not intend neither to objectify the place which is photographed, nor to dominate it. In fact, the less I dominate or understand it, the more I get curious, the more I question it, the more I find its beauty and the more I flirt with it.
I understand my observation and register acts as individual actions of my own. I mark a territory with photographic ideas that represent only my presence at a single place and which are also conceived as defiances to those whom may also want to mark the same place, giving it another singular meaning.