There is a long and important tradition in photography that often gets forgotten, remains unnoticed or is underexposed. It is the tradition of making long walks (usually through a city) with the camera in a search to find the 'right' images. This tradition is crucial for so-called 'street photography', but photographers that walk around a lot are not necessarily always street photographers. They can be documentary photographers, photojournalists, and perhaps even nature photographers. With some exceptions, the idea of walking around comes from the fact that they do not know exactly what they will photograph until they see it. Of course they have their particular interest, or they are working on a particular project. It is likely that they have a rough idea in their heads about what kind of pictures they are going to make. But the final decision is not made until they see it before their eyes. This can be a particular situation, an event or a grouping of people and or objects. The image that appears within the frame of the viewer 'fits' somehow the mental image, even if it concerns something totally new and unexpected. Or it belongs to a series of previously imagined images. 

But usually it is the other way around when they decide to actually make a photograph. They know it is the right image only an instant before they press the button. The actual making of the photograph is thus often a very fast and intuitive action, based on an extensive experience of looking and seeing, but also on what can be called quick 'visual thinking'.

André Cepeda's series on the city of Brussels reminded me of this practice that is so typical for the medium of photography - whether you consider it an art form, a cultural practice or a very personal urge. Cepeda walked around in Brussels in 1999, during a commission within the scope of Brussels Cultural Capital of Europe. His task was to make images that would somehow reflect the cultural identity of this city, or at least question this identity in an intelligent way. This meant he could not (nor did he want to) photograph the obvious touristy cliché's, nor the even more obvious 'official' expressions of bureaucratic power that are to be found in the 'political' architecture of the European Union. Instead, he chose to focus on the fleeting life in the streets of the city, and on a number of 'non-places', locations that were almost too banal to be even noticed, let alone photographed (Brussels is particularly strong on that point). 

If one could acknowledge two groups of 'walkers' - the 'witnesses' or 'bystanders' versus the  'researchers', 'philosophers' or 'analysts' -, André Cepeda clearly belongs to the latter group. 

Professional photographers a have a large collection of images stored in their memories. They recognize all kinds of images by photographers whose work they've seen in books, magazines, exhibitions, and billboards and the like. It is possible that while walking the streets they 'see' here a Robert Frank picture, there a 'Winogrand', 'a Doisneau' or 'a Cartier-Bresson'. In our image saturated world, to make a new photograph means to a great extent NOT to make one of the thousands and thousands of already existing pictures that your memory keeps reproducing - but at almost the same time trying to forget those pictures, to be 'blank' when you actually take the new photograph (or to consciously include, in an intelligent way, visual references to other historical and/or contemporary images). This is a very difficult practice, linked to the same process of quick 'visual thinking' that I mentioned before. For professional photographers, it is a basic part of their creativity. It is interesting to see how Cepeda's Brussels series works in the light of what I have just described. Avoiding cliché's as well as obvious references to any already existing photograph that may or may not be stored in our collective memory, he makes a photograph like the one of the four girls standing together, more or less facing each other. Of course this image belongs to a series, it shouldn't be looked at separately. But still it is interesting to look at an image that has hardly any documentary value - in fact the scene could be anywhere in any city. It is a transitory moment, and certainly not a 'decisive moment'. What, then, does it mean? Why has Cepeda photographed this? Did he think the scene was aesthetically pleasing? Or did he like the girls? Does he know them? Is he playing the male hunter? Are they tourists or local students? Are they discussing something? Is it about politics, art, fashion or just where to go next? The look on their faces is quite serious (though we cannot see the face of the girl closest by in the image, we only see her from the back). We cannot really figure out what the photograph means. Actually, when we think about it, is it unlikely that Cepeda wanted the photograph to have one singular meaning. The image is open to different interpretations and mental projections of various symbolical or allegorical meanings, like 'youth' (Brussels has a future) or 'conversation' (as a civilised act and, when it comes to the exchange of ideas and opinions, the basis of democracy). But it could also be a statement about photography and the act of making a photograph: the voyeurism (we as viewers are excluded from the group but we are peeping over a shoulder), the hunting act of the male photographer, the fleeting moment (suggested by the sunlight on the shoulders, arms and the faces of the girls). Cepeda's wandering through the city finds its counterpart in our mental wandering through the image and along its possible meanings. His artistic achievement is that he provides us with very interesting and exciting ones. 

Frits Gierstberg

Texto de Frits Gierstberg sobre o projecto Anacronia.
Roterdão, 2003

Since 2005, I have been working on several projects in which the working space is the Portuguese contemporary landscape, particularly the city of Porto. I work with what I find on the streets, with the people I come across. It is a daily and ongoing process that is often related to our own evolution and the way we experience places. I have chosen the large format camera 4x5 inch because, apart from the precision and technical accuracy, it requires a slow working process. This method is determinant to a long and attentive observation, which allows me to connect and relate with the object or landscape I wish to photograph.

I am always trying to build new ways of looking at reality and the space that is presented to me. Essentially, I search for spaces and moments that have been forgotten or rejected, where there is a certain suspension. Those things that belong to us, that we are used to look at. My interest lies in the sense that I am obliged to create an image and relate to its space, trying to forget its history and original reception contexts. With my only focus on light, space and time, I feel more freedom to create new contexts for the images, as if this almost sculptural treatment would render a dignity apparently forgotten or neglected. And so, these images become moments that propitiate a wider reflection on the way we build our cultural, social and political identity.

I am especially interested in the present time, the big day-to-day issues, the universal time, the economic crisis, the instability and incertitude, moments that don’t belong to history, that are rejected, some kind of forgotten heroes. I speak about things that are common to all places and are easily found, but difficult to select and interpret. I have been giving special attention to the accuracy of the publication and the importance of an international distributor capable of transmitting the social, historical, political and aesthetic components that my projects hold, and therefore stating my artistic path, so that it is in fact a mark in my career and not merely a passing by experience.

I have been working with photography, exhibiting and publishing. The 16mm and super8 film have always made part of my experiences and are very important to the way I understand the space I define to work with. The field recording, radio and studio recordings, make part of my exhibition projects. 

 

“Obstruct things to the limit,

try to look at emptiness,

the void,

until I find myself in this space”

 

 

 

 

 

mail:

mail@andrecepeda.com

tel:

00351 934271708

Others:

Ate the moment André Cepeda is living in New York as an artist in Residence at the residencyunlimited

My last book published by Pierre Von Kleist Editions, can be ordered here

Depois, a solo exhibition at Chiado, Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea, Lisbon, Curated by Sérgio Mah from 6 may until 25 september 2016. www.museuartecontemporanea.pt

 

 

André Cepeda was born in Coimbra, in 1976. He currently lives and works in Porto, Portugal. In 2012 he was artist in residence at the FAAP, São Paulo, as the recipient of a scholarship granted by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Cepeda was shortlisted for the Paul Huf Award, Foam Fotografiemuseum, Amsterdam (2011); Prémio BESPhoto, Lisbon (2010); and the EDP Foundation New Artists Prize, Lisbon (2007). He has been showing his work regularly, in Portugal and abroad, since 1999. He has since then made multiple artist residencies and received many commissions, among which stand out the 2010 Lisbon Architecture Triennale, EDP Foundation (2014) and the Fundação de Serralves (2014). In 2016 he was artist in residency at the Residency Unlimited, in Brooklyn NY, in the context of the partnership Atelier-Museu Júlio Pomar/ EGEAC and Residency Unlimited, NY.

Among his many solo exhibitions stand out: Depois, MNAC – Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea, Lisbon; Rien, Kasseler Fotoforum, Kassel, Germany, and Centro Cultural Vila Flor, Guimarães, Portugal, 2014; Kanal, standard/deluxe, Lausanne, 2014; Explicação da Lâmpada, Galeria Pedro Oliveira, Porto, 2014; Rien, Museu do Neo Realismo, Vila Franca de Xira, 2013; Ontem, Gallery INVALIDEN, Berlin, Germany, 2012; Kanal, with Eduardo Matos, Espace Photographique Contretype, Brussels, 2012, and standard/deluxe, Lausanne, Switzerland, 2011; Ontem, Espace Photographique Contretype, Brussels, Belgium, 2010; BesPhoto 2010, Museu Berardo, CCB, Lisbon, 2010; River, Galeria Pedro Cera, Lisbon, 2009.

André Cepeda has exhibited his work in galleries, museums and art institutions in many different countries: Faulconer Gallery, Grinnell, Iowa, USA; MARCO — Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo, Spain; Haus der Photographie, Hamburg, Germany; Kasseler Fotoforum, Kassel, Germany; Galerie INVALIDEN1, Berlin, Germany; standard/deluxe, Lausanne, Switzerland, The Mews - Projeto Espaço, London, UK; Galleri Image, Aarhus, Denmark; Wohnungsfrage — Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany; Museu Oscar Niemeyer, a Caixa Cultural, Rio de Janeiro and MASP — Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Brazil; Serralves Contemporary Art Museum, Porto, Portugal; CGAC—Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela, Galicia. Spain; Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Le Bal, Paris, France.
His work is represented in multiple public and private collections.

 

André Cepeda founded Blues Photography Studio in 2005 in Oporto where he produces work for many photographers, instituitions and gallery’s, printing, scanning and photographing. www.blues.com.pt. And since 2008 he runs Inc. Livros e edições de autor, a bookshop specialized in artist books. www.inc-livros.pt. Since 2013 André Cepeda gives a one week workshop every year at the Photography School CEPV, Vevey, Switzerland.

 

André Cepeda is represented by Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art and Galeria Pedro Oliveira.

 

Grants/Residencies/Commissions:

2016 - ATELIER-MUSEU JÚLIO POMAR/ EGEAC E RESIDENCY UNLIMITED, NY
2014
Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto: work commissioned for the exhibition The SAAL Process: Architecture and Participation, 1974-1976
European Photo Exhibition Award, EPEA02
Ordem dos Arquitectos, Lisbon
2013
Offline Residence (Xerem Associação Cultural), Lisbon
National Museum of Ancient Art, Lisbon
Artist-in-residence, Fundação EDP – Electricity Museum, Lisbon
2012
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon
Artist-in-residence, FAAP, Sao Paulo, Brazil
2011
Nominated for the Paul Huf Award, Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, Holland
Ordem dos Arquitectos, Lisbon
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon
2010
Lisbon Architecture Triennal, Lisbon
BESPhoto Photography Prize, Lisbon
Champalimaud Foundation, Lisbon
2009
Reitoria da Universidade do Porto, Porto
2007
EDP Prize – New Artists
IEFP, Ministério do trabalho, Testemunhos – Iniciativa Novas Oportunidades
2006
RAR Holding, Porto
2003/2004
Artist-in residence, António Henriques Galeria de Arte Contemporânea, Viseu
2002
Centro Nacional de Cultura, Lisbon
2001
Museu da Imagem, Encontros de Imagem, Braga
2000
Portuguese Center of Photography, Porto
1999/2000
Artist-in-residence, Espace Photographique Contretype, Brussels, Belgium


Solo exhibitions:

 

2017

Rasgo, Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art, Lisbon, 2017

2016

At the eyes ground, Fridman Gallery, New York, 2016
Depois, MNAC – Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea, Lisbon 
2015
Untitled, Old School, Lisbon a project by Susana Pomba
Rien, Kasseler Fotoforum, Kassel, Germany
2014
Rien, Centro Cultural Vila Flor, Guimaraes
Kanal, Standard Delux, Lausanne, Switzerland
Rien, Câmara Escura, Torres Vedras
2013
Explicação da Lâmpada, Galeria Pedro Oliveira, Porto
Sob um sol recto, Galeria Pedro Cera, Lisbon
2012
Rien, Galeria Pedro Cera, Lisbon
Rien, Museu do Neo-Realismo, Vila Franca de Xira 
Ontem, Galery INVALIDEN1, Berlin, Germany
Canal, with Eduardo Matos, Espace Photographique Contretype, Brussels, Belgium
2011
CAV-Centro de Artes Visuais, Coimbra
2010
O que o futuro foi, Mostra de Vídeo, Laboratório das Artes, Guimaraes 
Untitled, Galeria Pedro Oliveira, Porto
Ontem, Espace Photographique Contretype, Brussels, Belgium 
BESPhoto Photography Prize, Museum Berardo, CCB, Lisbon
2009
River, Galeria Pedro Cera, Lisbon; Galería AdHoc, Vigo, Spain
Untitled, The Mews – Project Space, London, UK
Project Room, Galeria Reflexus, Porto
2008
Sem título, Mad Woman in the Attic, Porto
Ontem, ZDB Gallery, Lisbon
2006
Stasis, Galeria Pedro Cera, Lisbon
Provas de Trabalho, Projecto Apêndice, Porto
Moving#3, IN.TRANSIT, Edificio Artes em Partes, Porto
Moving#2, Galeria AdHoc, Vigo, Spain
Moving, Cinematic Art Gallery, Vila do Conde
Anacronia, KGaleria, Lisbon
2005
Anacronia, Museu de Imagem, Braga
Anacronia, Espace Photographique Contretype, Brussels, Belgium
Jungle, Espaço Bartolomeu 5, Lisbon
2004
Viseu, António Henriques Galeria de Arte Contemporânea, Viseu
Closer, Galeria +Consigo, Coimbra
2003
Mapa de Intensidades, Oficina, Galeria Fernando Santos, Porto
2002
Anacronia, Gallerie Image, Aarhus, Denmark
Corpo, tempo, desejo e morte, Galeria Massa, Porto e Vulcão dos Capelinhos, Azores
2001
Pontes, lugares e antropologia, Silo-espaço cultural, Portuguese Center of Photography, Porto
2000
Anacronia, Encontros de Fotografia de Coimbra, Coimbra


Group exhibitions:
2015
Edita: secuencia/sentido, CGAC-Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela, Galicia
The New Social, European Photo Exhibition Award, House of Photography at Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Germany
The SAAL Process: Architecture and Participation, 1974-1976, CCA – Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal, Canada (cur. Delfim Sardo and Susan Cotter)
International Fotobook Festival, Kassel, Germany
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Paris, France (cur. Miguel von Hafe Pérez)

2014
The SAAL Process: Architecture and Participation, 1974-1976, Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto (cur. Delfim Sardo and Susan Cotter)
The New Social, European Photo Exhibition Award, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Paris, France
Le Bal Books Week-end, Le Bal, Paris, France
The New Social, European Photo Exhibition Award, Fondazione Banca del Monte di Lucca, Lucca, Italy; Calouste Gulbenkian Foundatio 02, Paris, France
Nobel Peace Centre, Radhusplassen, Oslo, Sweden (cur. Sérgio Mah)
SUB 40’, Galeria Municipal Almeida Garrett, Porto
Brussels Unlimited - Collection Contretype, Espace Contretype, Brussels, Belgium
Revisitação, Galeria Pedro Oliveira, Porto
Roubaram a partitura, no vazio seguimos, Jardins Efémeros, Viseu (cur. Miguel von Hafe Pérez)
Lei de Ohm, Museu da Electricidade, Lisbon (cur. Filipa Valladares)
Muralhar: Artistas POrtugueses Contemporâneos, Oi Futuro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (cur. Delfim Sardo)
The New Social, European Photo Exhibition Award, The Nobel Peace Center, Oslo
2013
Biennial of Photography MASP/Pirelli, MASP, São Paulo (cur. Ricardo Resende)
Visões do Desterro, Caixa Cultural do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
A Arca Invisível, National Museum of Ancient Art, Lisbon (cur. Delfim Sardo)
Noise, Pedras & Pêssegos, Porto
2012
Buildings and Remnants, Fábrica ASA, Guimaraes European Capital of Culture, Guimaraes (cur. Inês Moreira and Agneta Szylak)
Materiality, Alternativa 12, Wypsa Institute of Art, Gdansk, Poland (cur. Inês Moreira and Agneta Szylak)
New/Old Life, Galery Blanca Berlin, Madrid, Spain
2011
Wherever I Lay My Camera Down is Home, Photographic Festival in Rome, Rome, Italy (cur. Paul Wombel)
Ontem, Encontros de imagem de Braga
Arte Lusófona Contemporânea, Galeria Marta Traba – Fundação Memorial da América Latina, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Panis et Circensis, Centro de Artes de Sines, Sines (cur. Filipa Valladares)
Da outra margem do Atlântico – videoarte e fotografia portuguesa, Centro de Artes Helio Oiticica, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (cur. Paulo Reis and David Barro)
Private Lives, Centro Cultural de Cascais, Cascais
Da Cartografia do Poder aos Itinerários do Saber, Museu Nacional-Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologias da Universidade de Coimbra
2010
Ré-collection, Espace Photographique Contretype, Brussels, Belgium (cur. Jean-Louis Godefroid
Impresiones Y comentários – Fotografia Contemporánea Portuguesa, Fundació Foto Colectania, Barcelona, Spain (cur. João Fernandes)
2009
A iminência da queda, Galeria Diário de Notícias, Lisbon
Rescaldo e Ressonância, Reitoria da Universidade do Porto, Porto (cur. Inês Moreira)
Está a morrer e não quer ver, Espaço Campanhã, Porto (cur. José Maia)
2008
The Core of Industry – European Photography, Reggio Emilia 2008 – Musei Civici di Reggio Emilia, Spazio Gerra, Reggio Emilia, Italy
Testemunhos – Trajectos de Qualificação, Edifício da Alfândega, Porto (cur. Sérgio Mah)
Paraísos Indómitos, Marco Museu de Arte Contemporáneo de Vigo, Spain (cur. Virginia Torrente)
Territoire, 6ª Biennale Internacional de Fotografia de Liége, Liége, Belgium 
Where are you from? Portuguese Contemporary Art, Faulconer Gallery, Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa, USA (cur. Lesley Wright)
2007
EDP Prize – New Artists, Central Eléctrica do Freixo, Porto
Antimonumentos, António Henriques Galeria de Arte contemporânea, Viseu (cur. Miguel von Hafe Pérez)
Deslocações: 4 perspectivas contemporâneas portuguesas, Comité Económico e Social Europeu, Brussels, Belgium (cur. Lúcia Marques)
PhotoLondon 2007, Galeria AdHoc, London, UK
Intro, Espace Photographique Contretype, Brussels, Belgium
Bxl, Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles à Paris, Paris, France
2006
Busca-Pólos, Centro Cultural Vila Flor, Guimaraes and Pavilhão de Portugal, Coimbra
Residências I, Museu do Caramulo, Caramulo
Encontro de Arte Jovem, Bienal de Arte, Chaves
CO2, Miedzynarodowe Centrum Kultury, Krakow, Poland
2005
Colecção da Fundação PLMJ, Centro de Artes Visuais, Coimbra (cur. Miguel Amado)
Creators of European Photography, Photo Festival Union, Lodz, Poland
Desenhar Discurso: Digressões sobre uma urbanidade disruptiva, XIII Bienal de Cerveira, Vila Nova de Cerveira (cur. Miguel von Hafe Pérez)
2004
Re-produtores de sentido, Arte Sesc, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (cur. Miguel von Hafe Pérez)
E no princípio era a viagem, Bienal de Pontevedra, Pontevedra, Spain (cur. Miguel von Hafe Pérez)
2003
Et puis... voilá, António Henriques Galeria de Arte Contemporânea, Viseu
Colecção de Arte Contemporânea da Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Museu Extremeño e Iberoamericano de Arte                      Contemporânea, Badajoz, Spain
Pingyao International Photography Festival, Pingyao, China
Salão Europeu de Jovens Criadores, Montrouge/Sant Cugat/Amarante
2002
Galeria Fernando Pradilla, Madrid
Pontes, lugares e antropologia, Cadeia da Relação, Portuguese Center of Photography, Oporto
2001
Memórias da Cidade, Encontros de Imagem, Braga
2000
Bruxelles Active, C02, Brussels, Belgium (cur. Jean-Louis Godefroid)
Bruxelles a l’infini, Espace Photographique Contretype, Brussels, Belgium (cur. Jean-Louis Goderfroid)
 

Collections:

Fundação de Serralves – Museum of Contemporaray Art, Porto

CGAC – Centro Galego de Arte Contemporânea, Santiago de Compostela, Spain

MNAC – Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea, Lisboa

Colecção António Cachola, Elvas

Museu de Arte do rio, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

Espace Photographique Contretype, Brussels, Belgium

Faulconer Gallery, Grinnell, Iowa, USA

Instituto Camões, Foreign Affairs Ministery, Lisbon

National Photography Collection, Ministery of Culture, Porto

Encontros de Fotografia de Coimbra, Coimbra

Museu da Imagem/Encontros de Imagem, Braga

Culturgest-Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Lisbon

PLMJ Sociedade de Advogados, Lisbon

Museu do Caramulo, Caramulo

Câmara Municipal de Chaves, Chaves

Banco Espírito Santo, Lisbon

Ilídio Pinho Foundation, Oporto

Amorim Turismo, Troia

RAR Holding, Porto

ZdB Collection, Lisbon

Mica, Vigo, Spain

 

Books:

RDHK, self published, NY, 2016

Depois, MNAC/Pierre von Kleist Editions, Lisbon, 2016

Rua Stan Getz, Pierre von Kleist Editions, Lisbon, 2015

Rien – text book, CCVF, Guimarães, 2014

Whispering Light, self published, 2013

Kanal, Edition Contretype, Brussels, 2012

Rien, Pierre von Kleist Editions, Lisbon, 2012

Ontem, Cahier Blue, Brussels, 2010

River, self published, 2009

Anacronia, Edition Contretype, Brussels, 2005

 

Discography:

River, Lp, 50 copies

Kanal, Lp, 25 copies

Electricity, single, 150 copies

 

Filmography:

casal, 16mm, color, 1'25''

bandeiras, 16mm, color, 2’30’’

rien, 16mm, color, 3’15’’