Serralves, porto 2017-2018
© Photo credits: Tiago Madaleno
Exhibition view: oil on canvas, 25,6 x 19 cm
Clepsydra reflects on the relations between photography and time through the engagement of the body’s presence in the process of making images. Through an installation composed by several devices that explore an diverted use of the photographic vocabulary, this project reflects upon the conditions of visibility of the photography, the processes that produce it and the index (Krauss, 1977, Notes on the Index: Seventies Art in America Part 2 in "October", Vol. 4) as a work tool.
Clepsydra comes from a narrative in the form of a performance – a journey about the gesture of losing images – which is divided into two simultaneous moments. In the first moment, a man equipped with a mechanical device - that channels the energy produced by his steps into a lamp inside a backpack - engenders a journey through Porto, where he tries to draw an image with the gesture of walking. At the same time, inside its backpack, the same image that the man seeks to draw is sculpted in soap inside a transparent container filled with water. The light produced by the movement of the walking body across the space turns the sculptural object visible. It is also the same movement produced by the body when it tries to move forward that promotes its dilution in water. This process recalls an idea of archaic cinema that implies the presence of the body in the image in which light contributes both to its visibility and its disappearance.
Using a narrative performance as a motif, Clepsydra is presented as an allegory to the photographic image making process. The photography is thought in an diverted approach, invoking the photographic lexicon – writing with light, the time of exposure, the movements of disappearance and appearance - as strategy to think the possibilities of photography as a practice, namely, what is its relation with time and its influence in the perception of images as events, as well as to analyze the role of the body as an agent in the image making.