O Sr. Enbutsu e a Imagem Fotográfica Reflexão em torno de duas obras de ]oão Penalva

Mariana Marin Gaspar


First the images, then the words, later what's  said about  them,  and finally what they suggest us and  what  we built  from  there. The proposal is to "question"  two "text-images"  that integrate the work of João Penalva, a contemporary  Portuguese artist I admire  for his claiming  capacity, namely  through the extensive  narratives he  constructs  on  documents, texts,  photos,  videos, objects  and  performing  arts which interplay  with each other, either by links, not always obvious, either by clear ambiguities to be undone  by the pleasure and the eye's fabrication.

The  linkage  of  visuality  and  language,  movement and  sound,  the  usage  and mastery  of several media  and  various  mediums, the crossing of the creative act with a curatorship  activity fictional or merely suggested and the deconstruction  of the  conventional exhibition   space, are some  of  the  many  artistic  gestures  that know matter  to be known  or devised, practices that may well represent axiomatic paradigms of contemporary art.

'Sumiko'  and  'As if she  could  see  him'   are  two   ''portraits"  of  women   with apparent   analogies  but   whose  concordance   first  derives  from   the  following narrative  and from the creation of the enigmatic  character of the ''photographer" -Mr. Enbutsu -which in both cases acquires a central and impacting role.

To a brief introduction that is to be understood  as a consideration on the theme's relevance  and  of  the  somewhat   experimental  nature  in  the  construction   of  a speech, follows an approach to the object,  the two images in dialogue and confrontation, where the use of the phrase "multiple  dialectics" stems not from the complex nature  of the photography, but from the dialogical game triggered by the study  and  the questioning  of the photographic as well as the reflective attitude it demands; potential ways will be sought to reflect upon the photographic image, controversial and  noted ways, long-established: reality and fiction, word/text and image, creation and reception, among others

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