NOTHING 

the most striking aspect of the images of André Cepeda’s series, “Rien”, is their frontal, exhaustive and raw literalism. A stone suspended in the dark, a wall marked by time and mistreatment, an electric wire hanging across a ceiling, a naked woman exposing her body, are exactly that. The key expression here is “exactly that”.

What lies within the images may be discerned with a scalpel, may be analyzed as if under a laboratory glass, may be experienced like a slap on the face, but always beneath an overriding sensation that we’re seeing exactly that: a woman, or a wall, or a stone or an electric wire.

The road here involved many stages — from surgical attention to urban debris, a frontal gaze over that which perhaps doesn’t merit more than a fleeting glance. After living right next to lives that can themselves also be observed via a fleeting glance.

The Rien series, however, in its black and white conversion, has acquired a reality that only photography can confer, above all because it isn’t enmeshed in any poetic rhetoric about the power of black and white itself, nor has it lost itself in creating a more or less allegorical discourse. Its literal meaning is its argument, that opens up a multitude of possibilities, often deceptive for analysis. There’s no discourse that can seriously convert the image into a metaphor for anything, neither sorrow, abandonment, a scar, or anything else.

——
The images reveal three typologies that can be clearly distinguished: images of bodies — female bodies and objects that behave like bodies, with the same marks, scars and wrinkles — images of walls that function as screens — with incisions and tracks — and images of places, that are less representative within this selection, that corresponds to the exhibition which took place in the Galeria Pedro Oliveira, in Porto. Common elements within these three typologies include the ostentation of marks, which act like cartographies of time, scars created through use. On the skin, on our own skin and the surface covering of things and places, of walls and furniture. The wrinkles, cracks and marks tell stories — they’re biographical. Scars always contain the wound’s impregnated memories, of that which was once open and then sutured, that was sutured or stitched, patched, stapled, covered. That’s what isn’t shown, because the memory of the original rupture would make it remain permanently open. In their various typologies, these images reveal the stranger who originally wounded, ripped, broke. Not by means of allusion or metaphor, but by showing and then saying nothing more.

——
These images include some subsets that are linked to other forms of the image, observing matrices with a long tradition in art history, in particular still lives and in this case, Vanitas, whose function was to warn us of our own mortality, the ephemeral nature of existence, the inevitability of the end.

Some of these images may pertain to this lineage. Others, on the contrary, seem to belong to a baroque tradition of the body that revolves around itself, almost in a Rubenesque grimace. Sometimes their realism is inherited from Courbet, chewed by Robert Frank, but stripped of any narrative. In the set of images, there’s a triptych that has a specific pictorial resonance, the three bodies that exhibit themselves on a bedspread, a kind of quilt, a patchwork that without any irony, echoes Klimt, and evokes a fin- de-siècle Japonism, which in this case is converted into something homely, which it actually is. In the photograph of the woman, who draws an arc with her body, and makes us come face to face with the display of her sex, evidently contains an evocation of Egon Schielle or Kokoshka. The perversion of the gaze that wants to see Courbet, Raushenberg or Man Ray — and which legitimately does so — and in the process slams against the driest literalness, is thereby exposed as such. But intimately, almost without a shudder.

Sometimes when we look at these photographs, we are reminded of the cinema of Pedro Costa, or Jean-Marie Straub. Because the images display an equivalent degree of formal rigour and because they passbefore us, mercilessly.

But unlike the cinema, in which the film apparatus is always present — and voluntarily present in the aforementioned cases — in these photographs the photographic device has disappeared, it has become translucent. We don’t think that between us, and in relation to what stands before us, there is a process or a photographer, because the exposure of those bodies and those walls, those places and that sex, were made to be there, identifying us as their addressees, unmediated, directly tactile. They are available as anything else that has always been there, exposed, sometimes as unobtrusive as a small crack in a wall, a droplet, a fold in the skin of dried fruit, the sweetness of a stone. As if between us and this world, there was a breath that can be sensed.

As if there was nothing between us and the images. 

Delfim Sardo 

Texto da exposição na Galeria Câmara Escura.
Torres Vedras, 22 de Março de 2014.
 

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’’