André Cepeda’s work is characterized by its hard and patient gaze, based on painstaking attention to detail. With each new work, his images become more precise and direct. The format of the book doesn’t even seem to be the best means of storing and organizing these images. But it’s a natural place, given the manner in which Cepeda establishes relationships and hierarchies between his different images. A book requires time, imposes order and offers a highly convenient sequence for Cepeda’s images. And in Rien, he demonstrates how his patient vision is a fertile breeding ground for photography.

The book — which consists of a series of photos bearing the same title — doesn’t pertain to a territory that can be easily defined from the outset. It explores abstract, documental and portrait images and architectural and landscape photography. The images simultaneously have all these qualities and yet nothing can be named and any attempt at description is insufficient. Overall, they show bodies, landscapes, spaces, and abandoned objects, that often seem to be sculptures or drawings. And this singularity is simultaneously their strength and difficulty.

They are difficult images, because Cepeda forces us to look and observe, even when there’s nothing to see. This doesn’t mean that the title Rien (nothing) is purely descriptive. But it’s a good motto for experiencing this book. Its images address apparent voids, that subsequently reveal their tremendous plastic, imagetic and aesthetic force. They are therefore photographs built on emptiness, silence and the absence of expression, i.e. they result from an effort to answer the question about what can be seen when there is nothing to see, observe or describe. It’s not about the impotence of vision or language to recount what remains when everything is reduced to a minimum. Instead it shows the life that remains even when almost nothing seems to be left.

This doesn’t involve looking at everyday life, gestures, objects or even at a small event, which is the subject of so much of contemporary photography. Nor is it a project driven by the ambition to rescue everything that is rendered invisible due to the reigning inattention of everyday life. Instead it’s about revealing the forces, that on most occasions remain invisible and silent, which operate in space, the body and the landscape. Forces that are not always harmonious, balanced, but which place the beholder in a form of danger, related to the sense of abandonment and helplessness that seems to engulf everything.

It’s important to realize that André Cepeda’s photographs result from a process of delay: they require time, waiting, attention, restraint and care. This is not a work produced with a pocket camera that captures “snapshots” of the world and the things inside it. Instead each image results from a relationship that implies understanding and above all sharing the same plane between the photographer and that which is photographed.

In his previous published works (e.g. the book “Ontem” (“Yesterday”) the photographer still had some concern with the pictorial composition of the image space. But in Rien his style has become more direct, minimalist, bluntly stating the essential. For this reason, it shows everything face on, without lights or special colours. It is this boldness of wanting to look without any form of mediation that endows each picture with its temperature and depth. This is an ethical and aesthetic position: it is ethical because it refuses any hierarchy of moral and social values, and aesthetic because it refuses iconographic, symbolic or pictorial hierarchies.

The whole book is developed through the establishment of an intense rhythm between space, body and object, but this succession doesn’t proceed due to the formal or sculptural qualities of that which the camera is “relating” to. Instead, it is dictated by a sort of intrigue concerning that which occurs in the interval between total darkness and blinding light. The book begins with an almost completely white image and ends with a black page. Two blindness points are the extremes of the thread that is developed across the book’s pages. The thread developed

from page to page is not a narrative thread, but establishes a relationship with those people and places. Even when no one is there, and the seats are empty, we hear and sense those who have already been there. They are places and things that recount departures, loss and voices that can no longer be heard. There are no poetic or sentimental devices and their intensity originates from the depth of its relationship with the world that is rendered as an image. And, it should be repeated, in this case the photographs do not serve as a record or document, but as a way of relating to the world and its belongings.

We can imagine a great deal about the manner in which these images talk about a region (that of Porto, the photographer’s home town, where he never becomes tired of photographing, seeing and recounting) that is condemned to poverty, desertification and abandonment. But that would be to distract our attention from the essential aspect of this book and these photographs. They are about the surviving human dimension within the architecture, landscape, things, even when there is no longer anyone left to talk to. The house, the shelter, the objects, appear not in order to state their material, formal and sculptural qualities, but in order to talk about their inhabitants, builders and users. A book about the continuity of life in those places where all human presence seems to have been extinguished and there are no longer any humans — only ghosts.

Nuno Crespo

This text is a modified version of the text published in Ípsilon, the cultural supplement of the Público newspaper.
Lisbon, February 8, 2013
 

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:

At 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’’