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Veja você

Projeto realizado por 5 anos em um asilo no Rio de Janeiro. Como desdobramento deste projeto foram realizadas duas séries de trabalhos: Possivelmente Aqui e Veja Você.  

Cada imagem da série Veja Você, em escala humana, indaga sobre a efemeridade da existência do outro e consequentemente da nossa. Através da impossibilidade de reconhecimento da identidade e pelo simbolismo da anatomia dos pés, o trabalho provoca uma reflexão a partir do espelhamento do outro na imagem que está diante de si. 

Veja você #1 a #10

150 x 94, impressão em papel algodão


Trecho da entrevista realizada pela curadora coreana Meemee Young para a exposição Possibly Here, em Seul, 2023. A série de fotografias Veja Você foi realizada no mesmo período  da série Possivelmente Aqui. Apesar de resultados estéticos e simbolismos distintos, ambos tem a mesma origem e essência.   

You mentioned that the <Possibly Here> project originated while you were working as a yoga instructor in a nursing home in Brazil. Did you have any expectations or predictions about capturing such photos when you first started there? Or was it an entirely unexpected work? If it was unexpected, I'd love to hear more about the initial idea's inception and how it evolved. 


Additionally, could you provide more details about the specific timeframe of the project? Including when you first visited, the year of the initial photo sessions with the elderly, and any subsequent revisits.


During my transition from Law to Photography, I stopped dancing classical ballet (after almost 20 years dedicated to dance) and I began to practice yoga. After 2 years practicing yoga on a daily basis, I was delighted with the feeling of openness and alignment I was experiencing in my body and soul. I decided to learn the yoga principles more deeply, so I went to a yoga teacher training in New York at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta school. Even though New York is a bustling place, my experience there was not primarily about the city itself. New York represents a place where I deeply connect with art and spirituality. The first time I visited, my attention was entirely focused in that direction. After that initial experience, whenever I return to New York, it serves as a reminder of what is truly important to me. Recently, I've come to realize that this connection has little to do with New York itself. Instead, it has become a cherished memory and a core value in my life. New York merely helps me remember who I am and what I am pursuing and offering in this life. It's a profound contemplation for me on how certain places and architectures influence us because of the memories we create within them. Even when we're no longer able to travel, especially as we age or face illness, we can journey inward and reconnect with our memories, values, and creativity.


When I came back to Brazil in 2008, I hadn’t planned on becoming a yoga teacher, but I was overflowing with all this personal experience. Casa de Betania was a nursing home near my parents' house, and I grew up walking past that place, which I always noticed, but my interaction was never more than an occasional and polite "good morning" to some seniors sitting on the porch.


One day, I decided to stop by when I was walking down the street and after saying “good morning” I asked two ladies about their routine and practice of physical exercise and whether they would like to practice yoga with me. They got excited, so I talked to the nursing home administration and from 2009 to 2013, I was there every Tuesday morning for our yoga classes. 


The five years I attended Casa de Betânia coincided with the final five years of my grandmother's life — Dona Zeni, a creative and loving presence in my life. She accompanied me on numerous Tuesday visits to the nursing home. This synchronicity is very significant as it illustrates the intrinsic connection between my art and my life.


I didn’t plan to take any photos in the nursing home. I was there just for the yoga sessions. Although, being a photographer, I occasionally had my camera with me for professional reasons after the yoga class. After, approximately a year of weekly classes, I realized that I spent more time going into the bedrooms to invite them to class than in the yoga session itself. I began to pay more attention to the decoration, the scent, and the atmosphere of each bedroom.


One day, I vividly recall being in a lady's bedroom, and I noticed a beautiful light behind her head. My camera was in my backpack, so I asked her if she would allow me to take a picture of her. At this point, we had developed a strong bond and she immediately agreed. I asked if she wanted to hold something and she chose to hold her daughter's portrait. It was a baby portrait because her daughter had only lived for 8 months and, at that time, Esther, a sweet African Brazilian lady of very humble origins, was already 98 years old. When I returned home and saw the photo on my computer, I realized that I had captured something truly special: her eyes looking directly into my lens, her hands holding her daughter's portrait, the light, her personality reflected in every item in the room's decoration and, most importantly, our connection and trust.


After that day, I decided to take my camera with me almost every week. When I felt that there was trust and intimacy, I would occasionally ask to take pictures of some of them in their individual bedrooms. This process continued for about a year, between 2010 and 2011. During that time, I captured many portraits, but I didn't do anything with them. I simply continued teaching yoga every week.


By the end of 2012, I decided to print the portraits to see what I had captured and, at that moment, I realized that I had something truly special. I chose to gift them the photos for Christmas. Knowing that it would be a memorable moment, I filmed their reactions as they received this heartfelt gift.


A couple of months later, during my weekly visits for yoga class, I decided to take new pictures to document where they had placed the portraits in their bedrooms. The portraits became an integral part of their unique room decorations, a meaningful chapter in their life stories and a lasting part of my own life.


The yoga classes came to an end in 2014 when the nursing home closed for renovation and the elderly residents were relocated to temporary housing.


In 2021, following the COVID-19 pandemic, I decided to visit Casa de Betania and was surprised to learn that all of them had passed away. I left the nursing home with a strange feeling of emptiness and decided to revisit all the material, including the photos and, most importantly, my memories and feelings. I began writing about my experiences at Casa de Betania, working on this text for a couple of months and feeling a deep connection with each of them.


After that, I understood that gathering this material allows this story to discover its own narrative and emotions that are no longer exclusive to that small group of elderly individuals or myself, but extends to everyone who encounters this artwork. These images serve as a unique way to honor their existence and unveil a fragment of the collective history of all of us.

Entrevista completa 

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