Deviations in the Landscape – Pedro Victor Brandão, 2012

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Desvios na Paisagem [Deviations in the Landscape], at Portas Vilaseca Galeria, 2012.

This exhibition presents pictorial senses after alterations in the procedures of the photographic system, leading the view of the public to landscapes created in dilated times. There is the deviation of the domain of the visible from its objective aspect. The set of series points to questioning over permanence, selective urbanity, visibility, ramdomness, and the manipulable nature of today’s technical image. The works have been created between 2008 and 2012 and they are part of a major research about different processes of generation, construction, and understanding of images. The observations of the environment happen as a contiguous process and the use of photography and its devices build fields of signification between visuality and memory.

Two of the five series shown take advantage of random processes in their creation. Dupla Paisagem [Double Landscape] is presented here in three diptychs. Each one of them comprise a time lapse of ten years, when the initial year is the date of the capture of the image and the final year corresponds to the year when the film was developed and had their copies printed. In this latency period, colonies of mold were cultivated inside the spools. This series is like a contaminated engine where traces of the past are overlapped by this biological variation, producing unpredictable results: rhizomes in these test-landscapes (moon or sun, hillside and some veiled photograms) totally disfigures the indexical sense, in a planned chaotic occupation, but not controlled.

Another self-organized procedure is used to create Vista para o Nada [View from Nothing]. I show two images of this series where the suggestion of landscape can take the reader to imagine possible scenes. There is no instant depicted. The image comes from the interaction of a developing liquid between a negative and a positive of expired instant photographic films previously veiled by daylight. With an original measuring 4×5 inches, chemical landscapes get fractal dimensions when they are enlarged up to 1400%.

From chemical to numeric, Não Civilizada [Uncivilized] series also narrows the ties of photography with painting in a moment of liquefied realization in bits. In nine prints I want to remember that architecture also has its own expiration dates. These pieces are landscapes of a time that has never happened. Any trace of civilization is removed in an operation of re-synthesis, compiled by a plug-in; and applied as a routine of retouching by which I seek to construct the visibility of an inexistent order (that could take place in some inhabited past or in a distant future, already without ruins).

clock_gettime(CLOCK_REALTIME, &perf_tmp);
perf_edge_points -= perf_tmp.tv_nsec + 1000000000LL*perf_tmp.tv_sec;
// fill edge_points with points that are near already filled points
// that ensures inward propagation
// first element in pair is complexity of point neighbourhood
vector<pair<int, coordinates=””>> edge_points(0);
get_edge_points(data_points, edge_points);
size_t edge_points_size = edge_points.size();</pair<int,>

(A fragment of the algorithm code of Resynthesizer)

This series reflects about the actual urban order applied with shock, defining a kind of urbanity without margins, as if all the subjectivities of the city had to pass by an operation center. The use and the understanding of the urban space are conditioned to the creation of an image of fake stability, which is as much virtual as the digitally processed tampering.

Also thinking about oblivion processes, I develop since 2010 the Curta [Short] series, made by unfixed photographs exposed to ultraviolet light, ignited as an investigation on perenniality and depletion of persistent social practices in the contemporary world. The photographic support that deteriorates with agility serves as a metaphor to uncertainty (or misgiving) about the concepts imprinted on it. In the image presented here, I open the scope of this series to the discussion about speculated territories. In the image, one can see a view of the center of the city of Rio de Janeiro inside the construction site of “Museu do Amanhã” [Museum of the Tomorrow], which is a enterprise imported as a hypertechonologic ship that, when finished, promises to take the spectator to the future year of 2061. This museum is an icon to the consortial urban operation “Porto Maravilha” [Marvelous Port], which is actually the bigger public-private partnership in Latin America.

The so called “urban re-qualification” associates private contractors and a federal bank to various spheres of public municipal administration and the new characteristics of the region will be defined exclusively by the real estate market, given that the present evictions of poor dwellers grant the permanence of an elite of new inhabitants-owners in front of the sea, besides rapturous tourists that come from cruise trips. Real estate investment security papers warm up the market over an authentic sell of the public space, at the same time that new ruins are announced. Once completely faded, the image works as a weak sign of what one day was a present of commodification of a communal territory.

By last, I expose instants of imminent fall; frozen in WYBINWYS (what you buy is not what you see). This title comes from a joke with the acronym WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get), that in computer science describes every friendly software interface, where the edition that one user makes in the screen corresponds to the final result in a file. Behind a refractive pellicle refurbished from broken monitors there are scenes where the force of gravity is determinant. The pellicle prevent that the small photographs can be seen from the front. Without an effort of peripheral vision, a hurried observer could only perceive a precarious support. Maybe there is a negation of the seduction power of images to contest its place in a market of ambiguities.

All five series creates a demand for reading. I seek to pour in time and space to confuse the pure photographic objectivity and point out the deconstruction of the instant. Leaving aside the realities that photography could confirm, along with their representative capacities, I aim to make the readers look more carefully to the defects and subtle qualities of the images and of the imaginary that surround them.