(1956, Porto Alegre, Brazil)
Still-life and nature photography, built his own studio and darkroom on the borders of Lake Malvas, Brazil, where he studies and shoots creatures of the insect world and other aspects of Brazilian nature.
It is called PERCEPTOS. Two seamless paper curtains mounted back to back hang from a spatial structure 12 meters square. The curtains are made of inkjet photo glossy paper, each measuring 25 meters long by 90 centimeters high, and were curved to form a big spiral. Ana (my wife) devised this magnificent way of fastening the curtains to the structure: one single and very thin nylon thread zigzagging from a set of metal rings attached to the upper border of the curtains to another set of rings attached to the lower surface of the structure. The overall effect is very delicate, the presence of the thread is subtle so the curtains seem to float in the air.
95 photographs grouped in 5 chronological sequences depict the movements of life and light on the shores of Lake Malvas during the one year time our planet takes to complete its orbit round the sun. Four of these sequences were printed on the outer face of the spiral showing four different scenes changing month after month (12 images in each sequence). The fifth chronological sequence covers the whole extension of the inner side. This one sequence, different from the other four that are all in colour, has black and white pictures inserted among pictures of colourful plants and animals. The B&W images points out the changing patterns of light of the changing seasons, the colour ones indicate how life evolved throughout the year. When you walk into the spiral you have, in a glimpse, a 360 degrees vision of 365 days squeezed in 47 images.
The making of the images of Perceptos was made possible by the funding it was granted when its written plan won the great prize of the 1st International Photography Biennale of Curitiba (Brazil, 1996). Hewlett Packard Brazil and Espaco Ambientacao e Design were the sponsors of the spiral installation that was shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art of Curitiba during the 2nd Biennale, in 1998, which received the National Photography Award (FUNARTE) of that year.
Manuel da Costa