Aquilo que eu deixei de ser
[What I Ceased to Be] 2019 


[What I Ceased to Be]


My interest lies in questioning the passage of life, the end of existence, and what remains, survival. What disappears and transforms to reappear with life, to relate again. History always begins anew. A sort of permanent order and chaos. (E.G)


"What I Ceased to Be" aims to awaken an empathetic and contemporary view on the identity of anonymous individuals, who travels through time as photographs collected from urban litter, in the city of Campinas, in the interior of São Paulo, Brazil.


The project consists of a photographic collection of anonymous portraits gleaned with the help of garbage pickers. In this work, I seek to conceive a fantastical universe with reinvented characters, based on interventions in anonymous portraits made with objects, seeking to solve the mysterious personality of the abandoned subjects in family albums. The identity of the anonymous in other life is recreated in the present in order to stimulate imaginaries, bringing to life affective and provocative reminiscences as well as ways of living, moments of celebration and events of personal and family life.


Guided by the inherent logic of ecology of things; in this photographic project, the identity of the people portrayed is not revealed, but the body of work attests the survival of images, in a free allusion inspired by concepts warned by art historian Aby Warburg in his studies on image and memory, time, and human cultures.


The interventions in the portraits are done through the assemblage of organic objects – as stones, branches, shells and butterflies, symbolizing reincarnation, immortality, and the journey of the soul. The characters embody form, texture, and colour, creating a sense of belonging to the world of things. They intertwine in a network of meanings encouraging the reconstruction of family narratives and lost identities. If, on the one hand, the photographic portrait presents itself altered, the series shows that there are inevitably traces of the memory that remains.


In 2014, while taking photographs inside an abandoned house, I met JB, a garbage picker who alerted me to the number of photographs which are discarded in the city. For JB, the photographs in the trash were not even good enough to be sold as recycled paper. From then on, through a partnership with him and other pickers, I started to receive photographs, albums, postcards and slides that were thrown away, purchasing by the kilo of photographic paper.


In 2017, alongside the researcher Fabiana Bruno, the project with JB and others was consolidated with the ACHO archive [ Archive of Ordinary History Collections]: an archive with more than ten thousand anonymous photographs; expressing the need of study on the post-photographic and its excess of accumulated images, produced in these two centuries of technical history. The project points out to a revaluation of photograph archives, towards a primacy of discussion about the saturation of images today.


This work is part of my artistic journey of almost two decades, where I dedicate myself to explore creative possibilities with photography, admitting its ties and conflicts with memory, forgetting and the eternal poetics of the cycle of life in its rites, celebrations, victories, mourning, and cries. From this trajectory, the identity that is attributed to me approaches to an existential archaeologist, a compulsive collector of forgotten pieces and traces.


A few years ago, my relationship with the external environment tightened. I collect discarded objects from the streets, such as papers, photographs, boxes, wires, frames, and nails. My creative process feeds on this affective collection of materials in ruins, which, with their survival, still have a chance to metamorphose into other memories.

O projeto artístico consiste em trabalhar com fotografias vernaculares garimpadas na rua de Campinas com o auxilio de catadores de lixo. O ACHO – Arquivo Coleções de Historias Ordinárias é uma iniciativa idealizada por artistas e pesquisadores com a intenção de acolher fotografias descartadas e criar um... Leia Mais