LANDS AND LORES is a documentary recorded on a road trip from Carbondale, IL to Berkeley, CA from October 7th to October 14th 2011. Photojournalist Bruno Maestrini and I drove a U-Haul truck on the historic Route 66, stopping in small towns and interviewing locals for folk tales.
The videos, photos, and audio recorded were later edited and posted on the blog that composes the web-based documentary format.
NEW MONSTERS (part of the Crimes of Passion series) is an installation composed by 8 paintings, 4 projectors, and background music. Each painting was done on a 2.5 by 8.7 feet long roll of white paper and was made using a simple technique of projecting an image on the paper and using black washable paint to draw the silhouette of the people on it. Every two paintings work as a pair, since they deal with the same subject, crimes that became notorious in Brazil due to their brutality and mass media interference. Each pair of paintings was hung from the ceiling to the floor, creating four walls, a box in which people could go in. The paper walls were illuminated by a projection of Brazilian broadcast at the time in loop about each specific crime; I appropriated and manipulated the news images, giving them a drawing like style, such as in the paintings. I also created an original soundtrack for this piece, using a royalty free horror theme from the Internet and ambient sound from the crime scenes, such as screams and gunshots. Projections and soundtrack were looping while people navigated in and out of the box to see the piece. This work could be seen from both sides, but when someone entered the box, their bodies stayed in between the projection and the paintings, which allowed them to see clearly the painting behind the projection, but that action also cast their silhouette over the painting and they became the new screen for the projections.
THE BREAK UP (part of the Crimes of Passion series) are three photographs created based on conversations with my female friends about their past relationships and how they ended. So what you see is my representation of their break up. It was inspired on Paul Pffeifer's erasure work in "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse", in Naomi Uman's "Removed" and in the light of discussions about evidence. When Pfeiffer decided to erase much of the original photographic evidence from the archival NBA pictures and recreate the background as a form of camouflage, he recreated the reality of that picture. I started recreating reality from scratch when I set up the whole thing: make up, clothes, lights, location, camera position, and the posing of the subjects. Everything seen in the picture is real, as there is no photoshop work whatsoever, yet it is not real, as the scenes were a setup created and controlled by me.
Another thing I had in mind when I produced these photographs was the concept of the gaze. On the left you see the first photograph of the series. I required the woman to look directly at the camera, since I was working with the idea of portraits. The woman knows she is being looked at, and here, in this case, she is being looked at not only by the ones taking the photos and looking at the picture, but also by the man in the picture. He is staring directly at her face, furthermore, she is sitting on his lap, as if she were a dummy, this man is owns her.
Men are not used to be looked at, they are usually the bearer of the gaze. At the same time I am showing these women struggling to get out of a relationship and the men being the ones who detain power, when physically cut from the picture, I defy the male power over the gaze and over the women. When I cut the men out of the pictures, but leave their silhouette, this is how I show that even when they are absent, those men are still present.