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Sideral | Luiz Braga

04.28.16 _ 06.11.16

Luiz Braga (Belém – PA, 1956) in Sideral, his third solo exhibition at Galeria Leme, makes a cut of his production in color, with twenty works, the majority unpublished, carried out between 1982 and 2015. Sideral was an itinerant stereo system that is played in the popular parties and in the countryside towns of Para, title of the main work on display and that summarizes the colors and lights present in the author’s universe. The filmmaker Guilherme Coelho, director of the movie Orphans of Eldorado, based on the book by Milton Hatoum and personal friend of Braga, was invited to write a presentation text that recounts his first contact with the photographer’s work and instant fascination caused by that world of lights and dazzling colors. As Guilherme recalls:

“SIDEREAL in us.
It must have been in Belém, on the margin of Guamá, in an exhibition of Arte Pará, where I first saw a picture of Luiz. Look how lucky: in Belém, on the second floor of the House of the Eleven Windows, facing the river that is sea. But it is not the Guamá, it is the Bay of Guajará. Down there, there was the Boteco of the Eleven Windows, one of the greatest pleasures I’ve had. A chilled night, fish for dinner, loving to discover a new city.

A city where I came back years later, and by the hands of the writer who gave me a movie. Then I met Luiz in person. One late afternoon, Amazonic twilight, it had rained. A stubborn light. Dusk. A look that I very much wanted to bring to our ‘Orphans of Eldorado’. I met Luiz in his studio, and together we saw some of this photos on the computer. And we discussed this Northern light. And the North never left me.

Luiz is an imaginary that has always existed within us, and we did not know it was there. Just like the great stories and the great storytellers who invent us – Nelson Rodrigues and his scoundrels and dupes; Clarice Lispector and our stubborn and ruminants minds – Luiz shows us how we look out into the world. And we see it with enchantment, with grandeur, frivolous and deeply.

Seeing his photos, I see myself exuberant and melancholic. Full of emptyness. I feel the heat and I feel alone. And so often I find myself within his frame, his sidereal space.

Sidereal are his landscapes. Lunar. Filtered by infrared. An aesthetic that helped me dream the Amazonian green. The challenge of green. The challenge of seeing.

An empty hammock here at the exhibition. But another hammock, this one from 1990, perhaps in Guamá (this time, the neighborhood). A hammock with a girl looking at us. A girl becoming a woman. A picture that would be ‘impossible’ today, he says. Prohibited, improper. In our movie, this photo, this girl, turned into Dira Paes.

And for this same movie we found inspiration in another picture: another girl, clumsy on a bar table. Also in the neighborhood of Guamá? For me, for us, the crew of the film, that was ‘Dinaura, in Arminto’s pose’. And so, like this, we built a language around the characters of Milton Hatoum. Characters crossed by the look of Luiz Braga.
I remember that evening when we were in his studio and Luiz showed us a picture of Iara, the ‘senhora’ of the waters, the goddess of rivers. I think in an arm of a river, near Bragança, in the state of Pará. The sacrum sidereal of a green image, in the heart of the forest, in our heart. This is the light of Luiz.”

About the artist:
Luiz Braga (Belém – Pará, 1956, lives and works in Belém) has participated in several solo and group exhibitions in Brazil and abroad. He received from the Paulista Association of Art Critics (APCA) the award for the best photo exhibition of 2014 by his individual Retumbante Natureza Humanizada, exhibited at SESC Pinheiros in São Paulo – SP. He was the Brazilian representative at the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009), and has works in the following collections: Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil; Museum of Contemporary Art of USP – MAC / USP, São Paulo, Brazil; Museum of Art Assis Chateaubriand – MASP, Pirelli / MASP Photography Collection, São Paulo, Brazil; São Paulo Museum of Modern Art – MAM, São Paulo, Brazil; Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Rio Art Museum, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; ARCO Foundation, Madrid, Spain; Photographic Resource Center at the Boston University, Boston, USA; Pérez Art Museum, Miami, USA; Statoil Art Collection, Oslo, Norway; among others.