Intuited breathing

It is always curious when artists embark upon personal works that require many years to be completed. In the world of modern and contemporary photography there are many examples of spectacular commissions that result in monographic works that offer a more or less ten- sive response to the original brief. I remember discussing this project with André Cepeda over four years ago. A handful of his images were linked to spaces in the city of Oporto, where we both lived. They were normally exterior settings that nonetheless created a sense of intimacy: interior patios, plants in small open-air recesses, elements of exasperating banal- ity to which the artist conferred intrinsic dignity.

I soon realised that he intended to systemise his wanderings through the city, as it passed before his eyes, without revealing its inner reality. He began a process of physical de- marcation of the territory, meeting inhabitants who normally remain hidden from passers-by.

One of the typical phenomena of Oporto’s late 19th century and early 20th century urban development are the so-called islands: behind a nondescript street entrance, we en- counter a long line of houses offering minimum conditions of habitability, thus creating a small self-enclosed urban nodule (very different from workers’ houses in comparable neigh- bourhoods in Lisbon, that were structured around central courtyards). This urban design mimics patterns found at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution in the United Kingdom (the famous back to back houses), but normally embodies a smaller and more miserabilist vision. These developments were built in response to Oporto’s growing industrialisation, but have now been rendered obsolete, left as relics of industrial archaeology. The working class has effectively disappeared and now corresponds to a significant subset of the elderly, unem- ployed or economically under-privileged.

It should be emphasised however that there is often a strong sense of community in such neighbourhoods and some of these areas now have considerably more pleasant condi- tions than those existing at the time of their construction, where basic sanitation and plumb- ing were achieved at best via improvised shared solutions.

André Cepeda began his work on the basis of this specific territorial and urbanistic demarcation.

As I explained above, I was always impressed by the manner in which the project was de- veloped: its conceptual rigour and discipline obliged the artist to spend days on end in search of places that held significance for him, in search of details that he so expertly captures and which immediately endow a sense of pungent universality to the image in question.

A primordial question arises throughout this process, the second part of this eloquent diptych: his relationship with people, the manner in which he obstinately involves himself in the exercise of creating portraits. The artist dives into a universe that enables him to penetrate the ultimate meaning of this work. In the midst of a universe corroded by sadness, melancholy, abandonment and solitude, we encounter poses and gazes that hint at a vertiginous journey where intimacy still has the power to lick overly exposed wounds. In André Cepeda’s images, sexuality isn’t exposed as an element of capitalist exploration, although this dimension is frequently present in this context, in order to obviate a sense of hangover from drug dependency. The exhibition of bodies actually conveys a final shred of personal dignity, the sexual relationship itself is a suspended moment in the unbearable breathing of everyday existence.

This is an odd process: André Cepeda captures chaotic, claustrophobic interiors, marks of self-destruction, moments of reinterpretation of still lives and thereby shatters the con- ventionality of private spaces as we know them. These are the harshest moments of his project. The same occurs with the exteriors: cul-de-sacs, makeshift homes, grey skies, urban sprawls, densify the reception of a reality that many manage to avoid, but which countless more people are obliged to carry with them in their memories and daily existence.

Paradoxically, as I already mentioned, the artist succeeds in maintaining an approach that is neither too pessimistic nor commiserative. It would be much easier to show misery and degradation in its brute form. But this is the territory of sensationalist journalism, of emotional spectators and voyeurs. Each image in this project reproduces a shared moment. We sense it in the depth of the gazes. The distance between the photographer and subject is almost palpable, the murmurs, the few words exchanged at the time of greatest concentration, the silence, the certainty of silence, can be felt everywhere. Such communion can only be attained by those who share. And this sense of sharing is above all an act of trust.

This journey doesn’t allow us to get to know the city better. We learn nothing about the individuals portrayed herein. But we gain the certainty that art has this unique capacity to show us a world via a series of questions. How do I position myself before this reality? Whose reality is this? That of the author? That of the places and their inhabitants? No. Ultimately the force of this project consists in its atopical and timeless dimension. Because it plays an intelligent game with the History of Art itself – we could trace a formal genealogy and a more or less obvious iconography within some of these works – by universalising specific elements.

Nonfictionalised reality. But how can we avoid fictionalising this reality? Sucked inside, to the project’s internal coherence via the complexity presented herein, in the form of a book, the spectator becomes the great storyteller. In response to the transitory nature of the spectacular, to the mediocrity of digitalisation of the world – as found in much of contempo- rary photography – André Cepeda highlights the urgency of aesthetic, ethical and, in the final analysis, political sharing. 

Miguel von Hafe Pérez

Texto para o livro Ontem.
Porto, 2010.

Interested in the present time, the economic crisis, the instability and incertitude, moments that belong to history. Things that are common to all places, but difficult to find, select and interpret. Trying to build new ways of looking at reality and the space with social and political identity. Spaces and moments that have been forgotten, where there is a certain suspension. 

Trying to forget. 

 

 

 

mail:

mail@andrecepeda.com

tel:

00351 934271708

Others:

Ate the moment André Cepeda is working in a new book and exhibition project with Urs Stahel, to be presented in 2020 at MAAT - Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology in Lisbon.

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

Porosis / The Architecture of Nuno Brandão Costa, is a new book where André Cepeda travelled for some months photographing the work of Nuno Brandão Costa. here

New book published by Ghost Editions coming soon!!!!

Exhibition at Argos in Brussels. Look at Me, is the second of a series with works from the Argos collection that explores this dialectic. Furthermore Look at Me features a selection of photographic portraits made in the frame of artists in residence program of Contretype, Centre pour la photographie contemporaine in Brussels. more info here

Solo exhibition at Porta 14, in Lisbon until march 2019. more info here

Solo exhibition at Appleton Square in September 2019. more info here

André Cepeda was born in Coimbra, in 1976. He currently lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal. In 2012, 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), the Fundação de Serralves (2014) and Gulbenkian Foundation (2019). 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. He is currently working in a new exhibition and book project with Urs Stahel, to be presented in 2020.

Among his many exhibitions stand out: Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art, Lisbon; Benrubi Gallery, NY; Fridman Gallery, NY; Galeria Pedro Oliveira, Oporto; MNAC – Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea, Lisbon; Kasseler Fotoforum, Kassel; Gallery INVALIDEN, Berlin; Espace Photographique Contretype, Brussels; Standard/Deluxe, Lausanne, Switzerland; MARCO — Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo; Le Bal, Paris, France; Haus der Photographie, Hamburg; Wohnungsfrage — Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Serralves Contemporary Art Museum, Oporto; CGAC—Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela; Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Paris; Museu Oscar Niemeyer, a Caixa Cultural, Rio de Janeiro and MASP — Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Brazil.

His work is represented in multiple public and private collections.

André Cepeda founded Blues Photography Studio in 2005 where he produces work for many photographers, instituitions and gallery’s, printing, scanning and photographing. www.blues.com.pt. Since 2008 he runs Inc. Livros e edições de autor, a bookshop specialized in artist books. www.inc-livros.pt. 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, Lisbon, Galeria Pedro Oliveira, Oporto and Benrubi Gallery, NY.

Grants/Residencies/Commissions:

2019
Gulbenkian Foundation

2018
Representação Oficial Portuguesa na 16ª Exposição Internacional de Arquitetura – La Biennale di Venezia
EDP Foundation

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
Depois, Benrubi Gallery, New York
Cão, Galeria Pedro Oliveira, Porto
Uma especie de silêncio, CAAA, Guimarães
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:

2018

Before and After Architecture, Chicago Architecture Biennial, with Nuno Brandão Costa, Chicago
Public without rhetoric, Representação Oficial Portuguesa na 16ª Exposição Internacional de Arquitetura – La Biennale di Venezia, Veneza
Variations Portugaises, Abbaye St. André – Centre de Art Contemporain Meymac
Escala 1:1. 21 Artistas Contemporâneos Portugueses, Tabacalera, Madrid
A preto&branco, Sociedade Nacional de Belas Artes, Lisboa
Rhytm of Distances: Prposition for the repletion, Galeria Vertical/Silo Auto, Porto

2017
Uma Colecção = Um Museu, MACE – Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Elvas, Elvas
Them or us, Galeria Municipal do Porto, Porto
Un certain regard, Obras da Colecção Norlinda e José Lima, CAV, Coimbra
Da fuga e do encontro: Inversão do Olhar – Espaço Novo Banco; Lisboa

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’’