Three series of portraits, based on street photographers’ discarded negatives found in the streets of Belo Horizonte between 1992 and 2002.
The portraits in this book were made by anonymous “lambe-lambe” photographers in the streets of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and were not intended to be seen by a larger audience. Their initial function was for private clients who were in need of portraits for various administrative purposes. The photographers had the habit of discarding their negatives in the streets where I collected this treasure. The photographers worked with extremely simple equipment and they processed film and paper quickly disregarding any archival considerations. Despite or maybe even because of the seemingly artless process the images are striking and powerful. As a group they form a randomly composed collective portrait of the population of a city, and they are documents of an era gone by, replaced by the clean process of digital photography that does not leave any trash in the street.
2014 by Editorial RM
book design by Astrid Stavro
text in English, Spanish, Portuguese
18.5 x 13 cm, 120 pages
available in the shop
A catalogue featuring the complete series O Campo, published on the occasion of an exhibition at Sala BBK in Bilbao, organized by Fundación Athletic Club. Introduction by Galder Reguera (text in Basque, Castilian, and English).
2012 by Fundación Athletic Club, Bilbao
22 x 17 cm, 64 pages
ISBN 978 84 8056 312 3
O Campo, or in its translation The Field, is a photographic compilation of football fields in Brazilian cities. The images were taken via satellite and they show the rather oddly shaped football pitches that seem to be built wherever possible – the desire for playing the game has clearly surpassed and ignored the limitations of natural topography and FIFA’s laws of the game. According to the official rules and regulations (which are included in the book as an epilogue) you would not be allowed to play football on any of these fields. However, the careers of some of the world’s best football players began on these very same fields despite their askew angles, odd proportions, mis-shapen border lines and pitch markings. Studying the architectural contexts of these fields we also get an idea about the social context where these players come from.
O Campo received an honorable mention in the 2010 Photography Book Now competition.
print on demand, colour
20 x 25 cm, 40 pages
softcover / hardcover with dust jacket
32 / 40 €
available in the shop
When I made my first trip to Brazil in 1992 I arrived in Belo Horizonte, a city as big as Berlin that most people have never heard of outside Brazil. In a public square in the center of this city I found a series of black-and-white portrait negatives. The photographers who made these portraits worked in the square using extremely simple equipment: a wooden box that served both as a camera and a darkroom. In front of a simple backdrop, photographs were taken with that box and developed inside it. The clients got their portraits after few minutes. The negatives were discarded. I collected these negatives and printed them. The title of that work is Belo Horizonte, Praça Rio Branco. In 1993 I made a similar work, Belo Horizonte, Parque Municipal.
Originally these portraits were taken for various administrative purposes, ID cards, driving licenses, and so on. People who are well off get their portraits taken in studios, and people who cannot afford studio portraits go to the square. The photographers do not give directions to the people depicted. They take plain, frontal, straightforward portraits.
When I returned to Belo Horizonte this year the photographers had moved to another square. And they had abandoned their primitive technique. They work in colour now using 35 mm cameras. After the photographs are taken they run to the nearest lab to get the strip of film developed and printed. The clients pick up their portraits about half an hour after they were taken. Negatives are still discarded. During my stay in Belo Horizonte I got up very early every morning before the street cleaners start to work, walked to the square and collected all the negatives I found. The result is Belo Horizonte, Praça Rui Barbosa.
14.8 x 10.5 cm, 64 pages
out of print