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Picture Carnaval (1)
- Cia de Foto
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Cia de Foto
Rooted in documentary, concerned with social issues, the kids from Cia de Foto never sign their images individually. Furthermore, they always discuss the themes, aesthetic issues and choices that arise in the course of the project. This makes it impossible to know who took the photo.
They can afford the luxury of this cohesiveness by taking on commissions on the side, mainly in the communication and corporate sectors. The group has also worked on such in-depth subjects as an outdoor boxing club (now closed) under one of Sao Paulo’s ring road’s interchanges, or daily life on La Paulista, the main thoroughfare of Latin America’s economic and financial hub, with its vibrant, muted tones, complete with shards of glass and metal, and a white-collar population in shirt-sleeves, carrying attaché cases, alone in a sterile environment.
Avoiding clichés, the members of Cia de Foto decided to portray their megalopolis under the rain – simultaneously raising the issue of the floods that lingered for weeks in badly drained neighbourhoods. Cia de Foto always focus on themes that address the human condition, its frailty, and the issues and risks related to images. Their involvement in this though process has led to radical choices in subjects and the way they present them, exemplified in two remarkable videos they produced about their work. One is dedicated to a squat shaped like a “vertical favela” in Sao Paulo’s historic centre, alternating slow-paced, subtle, beautifully dignified portraits with static shots in slow motion. The other video – their “shoebox” – brings together hundreds of family photos, with an emphasis on their infant children, at a frantic, happy, tender pace.
The series they are presenting at Photoquai – their vision of the Bahia carnival, the most photographed event in the country, and also the blackest and most clichéd – sums up their approach: only five images of the ecstatic crowd, suggesting contemporary religious paintings in vibrant lighting. We do not know who actually took them. Just Cia de Foto.