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Carlos Azeredo Mesquita

CAM

Carlos was born in 1988 in Porto, Portugal. He has a degree in Graphic Design from the Faculty of Fine Arts of Porto University (2011), and between 2009 and 2011 was a scholar for MOME – Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Budapest, Hungary. He works mainly with photography, engraving and drawing. Carlos had numerous individual and group exhibitions and he is awarded by several international art organizations.

We taked with him at Giclée Factory in this April.

GF: When did you come to Hungary first time?
CAM: In the summer of 2008, for a week, as a tourist.

GF: Where did you hear about MOME?
CAM: When I decided to go on Erasmus for a semester abroad, I looked at the partner schools my home university had. MOME is, among quite a lot of others, one of options we can choose from, and I picked it.

GF: Few days ago we printed some new pictures for THE OTHERS . Tell me about these series. Where did come from the idea that you take pictures about underground lines? (passengers of underground)
CAM: The idea came from my need to better understand the place I was living in, and that was Budapest at the time. I needed to look at the people closely and understand who they were, how they behaved. And I think it worked! After that first series I shot in Budapest, I started repeating the experiment in other cities in order to compare “results” (meaning, how different or similar were the people).

GF: You chose Baryt 270 paper for these images? Why do you like this paper?
CAM: 
I very much like this paper because of the beautiful color reproduction and texture. The images just seem to glow, as if they were almost real. A favorite of mine, no doubt.

GF: When you lived and learnt at Hungary, you found some interesting places and themes. What were these? Tell me about them.
CAM:
I spent quite a lot of time visiting, investigating and documenting the large housing estates that exist in the outskirts of Budapest. That gave origin to another series, called THE RADIANT CITY.

GF: Do you plan a new exhibition?
CAM:
I just opened an new exhibition very recently, at my gallery that represents me in Porto, Portugal.

About Carlos’s Work
THE OTHERS
The Others, 2012-ongoing
40×60 cm each individual image
Inkjet print on Baryt 270 paper mounted on Dubond

Tourist climb high buildings to get a panorama of cities; locals know that to see the real city one must go down to the metro. It doesn’t really matter of which generic big city we talk about for us to be sure that commuters at the metro will be exposed and forced to interact under very identical and almost laboratory controlled situations: uniform artificial lights, similar trains, crowds on peak-hours, traveling standing, recorded voices, buzzers, and so on.In the metro I found the uniformity and absence of uniqueness that would allow observing and investigating individuals in a systematic way that can be reproduced everywhere, with nearly the same precision an anthropologist would (I shot for 5 consecutive days, 4 hours during morning rush hour, 4 hours in the afternoon one) creating faux-panoramas of the trains while they call at the stations.Whatever the originality of the responses or reactions of the passengers, they are definitely imagined and measured by the viewer according to stereotypical characters: an ideal image of the consumer, of the seductive women, of the friendly couple or the virile man —difficult to say what is shaping reality and what is reflecting it.By repeating this very same experiment in cities from different geographies and historical backgrounds this series takes advantage of the apparent democracy the metro is: a place used by “everyone”, where social classes meet and move and cultures press together thus making possible a reflection on anthropology and sociology in an era of globalization and urban development.

 

THE RADIANT CITY
The Radiant City, 2010
40×60 cm each individual image
Inkjet print on Baryt 270 paper mounted on Dubond

“The Radiant City” consists of a series of faux-panorama photographs that reflect on the architectural framework of the socialist legacy, carried out in the suburbs of Budapest, Hungary. Through an exercise of panoramic photography that activates certain principles suggested by serialism (we could call it “ready made serialism”), these images question the very socio-political conditioning imposed by urban matrixes developed during the socialist era in an operation of “urban archaeology” on Eastern European countries.

Throughout history architecture has been used to demonstrate and reinforce ideas and some “fundamental truths” about the societies in which it is created – the Pharaohs and the Pyramids, Versailles and Absolutism or New York and Capitalism. In systems in which Stalin, Mao or Ceausescu were the makers of “truths” architecture would naturally be a reflection of their – also moral – authority. In an ideological system dedicated to the workers and peasants the most important “philosophical” structures could not be churches or skyscrapers, but residential areas that materialized the ideal of the common good. Ideal Socialist Cities were built from scratch a little everywhere in the Soviet space and are today huge masses of concrete blocks not far from Le Corbusier’s ideas on what would be “The Radiant City” – the title of this project and of Le Corbusier’s 1935 book that proposes a new way of thinking cites; note that this “radiant” acquired over time an almost ironic load.

When visiting these suburbs I started coming across with a variety of serially arranged identical elements that were not part of the original conception of the estates and shouldn’t even be there, but that in a curious twist were as serial as the rest of the space.Based on the premise that such a serial approach to architecture would shape the reality of those who live it, I started documenting these rows of table-tennis tables, improvised garages or caravans that double as weekend markets and showing that this utopia of the “Radiant City” inhabited by uniform citizens succumbed to the circumstances or saw itself changed by the needs of those who live it.

2016.04.07. (x)

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