Curated by Encontros da Imagem
Opening: September, 9th after 3pm
until: October 17th
Program integrated with the 31st Edition of Encontros da Imagem - Genesis 2:1.*
“Transatlántica” unifies 3 projects: “Plátanos con Platino”, “Braços Verdes Olhos Cheios de Asas” and “Brazil : System Error”, made between 2016 and 2019 in Latin America, where I live and work. Through this body of work, I question the ways in which photography is used to represent territories and I seek to reprogram their political influence on the representation of territories. From photographs taken in the forest “Plátanos con Platino” and “Braços Verdes Olhos Cheios de Asas”, I create a nature that borrows its colors from pop and luxury aesthetics languages. By doing so, I aim to highlight the role of photography in the construction of the imaginary, and at the same time try to give back to those places the value they have lost. In "Brazil : System Error", iconic images from Brazil gleaned found from search engines are loaded with political messages as powerful as they are contradictory. The often stereotypical, happy, and colorful images of the country were altered, by inserting into their text code violent sentences said by Jair Bolsonaro — the current president of Brazil. This digital alteration (glitching) produces visual interferences, through which I aim to explore the discordance between the tropical clichés that too often characterize Brazil and its most chilling drifts, but also to reveal the failing image of / in power. The images of “Transatlántica”, made of utilize tropical nature and territorial specificities from Latin America, and first glance they seem to invite to indulge travel and exoticism. But the fascination they may induce at the first sight quickly appear as suspect — as they are indeed plastically modified or even glitched. Through the exotic and digitally bugged views on Latin America, I question the idea of our collective mental representation of landscapes, which I confront to concrete political or economic facts. “Transatlántica” is an attempt to report the failure of capitalism, and the limits of our society of images.
About the curatorship:
Encontros da Imagem, with more than thirty years of existence, is a non-profit cultural association that promotes annually an International Photography and Visual Arts Festival in the city of Braga, Portugal. The festival celebrates classic and contemporary photography and visual arts in general by showcasing emerging and established artists.
About the artist:
Elsa Leydier was born in 1988 in France. After studying languages, she entered the École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie in Arles in 2012. Following her graduation in 2015, she came to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she currently lives and works. In her photographic work, she aims to interrogate images that are used to define iconic places and territories, that she tries to show from other points of view, through the prism of alternative and lesser stories. She was a finalist for the Prix HSBC pour la photographie in 2018 and a laureate for the Dior Photo Award for Emerging Talents and for the Maison Ruinart/Paris Photo Prize in 2019. Her work has been shown in several group exhibitions internationally like in Les Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie (Arles, France), PHotoEspaña (Madrid, Spain), Month of Photo Los Angeles (USA), Festival Circulation(s), in Le Réverbère Gallery (Lyon, France), Chez Agnès b. and Les Filles du Calvaire Gallery (Paris, France), among others, and in solo shows in Bogotá, San Francisco, Paris and Lyon. Elsa Leydier is represented by Intervalle Gallery, Paris.
*Genesis 2:1, was the chosen theme for the 31st edition of Encontros da Imagem - International Festival of Photography and Visual Arts, which will take place between September 17th and October 31st, 2021. Among the many different activities, the Festival will include 46 exhibitions distributed in 24 different spaces involving 62 photographers.
Never has a chosen theme fit so well into the context of what we, at the beginning of this decade, are currently going through both in Portugal and the rest of the world.
“Genesis 2:1” gives continuity to last year's theme. One year later, we all, Portugal and the rest of the world, returned to the widespread confinement - as a result of the pandemic crisis caused by Covid-19.
Causing confusion and chaos. A collective inability to understand the disorder of things, confronting humanity with increasingly complex and demanding challenges.
Contemporary society is facing enormous global challenges for a long time: from issues related to the planet and its ecological problems (loss of biodiversity, climate change - warming and contamination) to the civilisations that inhabit it, where many of them generate new inequalities and moral indifference (political, religious, borders, refugees, racism, gender issues and many others).
What we call progress, not only no longer matches with the humanisation of the world, but may also end up dictating its end. There is an urgent need to find solutions to put an end to the inequalities and indifference that millions of people are suffering.
A question may be asked: what future awaits us? The crisis in which we live is an opportunity for all of us to find common causes and discuss the best solutions for what needs to be done.
The Board of Directors - ENCONTROS DA IMAGEM
Curatorship: Encontros da Imagem
General Coordination & Production Direction: Mariana Vitale
Production Suport: Simone Almeida
Digital Content and Comunication: Filipe Confraria, Mariana Vitale e Rodrigo Rosas
Press Office: Filipe Confraria
Exhibition Montage: Kiko Richard
Cleaning: Manuela Pinto
Organization & Artistic Direction: Saco Azul & Maus Hábitos / Encontros da Imagem