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Vacant Plot © Courtesy of the artist & 1500 Gallery

511 West 25th Street, #607
New York, NY 10001
October 3rd, 2012 - October 27th, 2012
Opening: October 3rd, 2012 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Tuesday - Saturday, 12 - 6 pm and by appointment


1500 Gallery is pleased to present Disruption, an exhibition of
color photographs by João Castilho, one of the most important art
photographers to emerge in Brazil over the past decade. The exhibition consists
of 15 images from 2 different bodies of work (Spice and Vacant Lot) that intersect
notions of fracture, collapse and disruption. These works are representative of
Castilho’s signature conceptual approach, one that has been described as
“imaginary documentary”. Disruption will be on view from October 3-27,
2012. There will be a reception for the artist at 1500 Gallery on Wednesday,
October 3, 6-8 pm.
Vacant Lot (Lote Vago) is a series of photographs depicting the silhouettes of
unemployed men hanging around a vacant lot on the outskirts of Bamako, Mali.
The subjects disrupt space and time in search of a way to defeat the boredom and
emptiness that make up their lives. The subjects are directed by the photographer
and are pictured in front of a wall. The way they were photographed nullifies any
possibility of recognition. They are subjects without identity, and therefore, with
no story.
The series Spice (Tempero) depicts interventions with spices (paprika and
saffron) in Bolivia’s Uyuni Salt Flats. There is an interplay between materials:
salt, pepper and saffron. But also with art history, as the work makes reference to
land art (interventions in landscape) and painting (the activation of empty, white
space by the introduction of pictorial elements, red and yellow). The interference
color on white ends up creating a certain discontinuity in the landscape and
disruption of order.
There will also be the launch of the book Scopic Drive (Pulsão Escópica). Scopic
drive is a concept that was addressed by psychoanalysist Sigmund Freud, despite
not having been explicitly identified by him as such. Jacques Lacan is responsible
for coining the term itself, in view of discussing the notion of “satisfaction”
inherent to the act of looking. From this psychoanalytic concept, Castilho created
a series of photographs. The images of this essay, generated by webcams and
captured directly from Castilho’s computer screen, discuss scenes of voyeurism
and exhibitionism.
About João Castilho
João Castilho is one of the most important art photographers to emerge in Brazil
over the past decade. His work is one of the major pillars of what has been called
“Imaginary Documentary,” but is not limited to this style. In his most recent
bodies of work, Castilho has borrowed concepts from Land Art (Spice, Threads)
and has also experimented with video and installation works (Between Rivers,
Earthquake, Sudden Death). Some of his works are connected to literature
(Whirlwind, Metamorphosis, Dead Weight). Another important feature of
Castilho’s work is his very particular use of colour (Marie Jeanne, Vacant Plot,
Hotel Tropical, Underwater Landscape).
Castilho and his work have been recognized by all of the main Brazilian art
photography prizes including the Marc Ferrez Photography Award (2010), the
Conrado Wessel Foundation Photography Prize (2008) and the Porto Seguro
Photography Prize (2005). Castilho has received grants from the National
Foundation of Arts (2008); the Pernambuco Fine Arts Salon (2008); and the
Pampulha Museum of Art (2005). His work is present in several public
collections including: Musée d’Art Modern et d’Art Contemporain de Liège
(Belgium), Noorderlicht Gallery (The Netherlands), Museum of Modern Art of
Sao Paulo (Brazil), Sao Paulo Museum of Art (Brazil), Pampulha Museum of Art
(Brazil), and the Museum of Modern Art of Bahia (Brazil), among others. He
graduated in 2010 with an MA in Visual Arts from the Federal University of
Minas Gerais, Brazil.