All Islands Are Mountains
Questioning the power of discomfort
We live in the age of multi-tabs, binge-watching, and immediatism. We have instant coffee, instant messaging, expressways, and speedy boarding. Travelling and arriving faster than ever, we no longer have the time to understand what we are slowly losing along the way. If all journeys are made of comfortable shortcuts, what happens to the questions that arise from discomfort and uncertainty?
I was faced with this while observing the contrasts of the gradually evolving Madeira landscape, where both natural and constructed spaces are progressively being transformed by a new Europe attempting to keep up with modern life.
This five million-year-old volcanic mountain that grew from a depth of around 4000 meters is now in its penumbra period, as it is neither slow and traditional nor modern and fast enough to face this century’s challenges. That dichotomy is most evident in the rural areas where, for instance, at the base of the new brutalist express-ways whose speed prevented population exodus, we find old roads that wind around the same landscape in a slow and sinuous way, keeping tradition in.
Knowing that I could be facing a perspective bias resulting from the correlation between depth perception and the speed we travel through time, I decided to slow down and equipped with a medium-format analogue camera, wander and wonder about the power of stillness and what happens when we lose those questions that can answer what remains unanswered.
The result is a visual exploration of the contrasts and complexities of these topics, inviting the audience to slow down and reflect on the human condition and the impact of speed and progress on our environment and humanity.
My House is a Parking Lot
For 25 years, I looked at the stars from a cement terrace on this very spot. Today, the cold cement on my back at dawn has turned into a tarred concrete parking lot at my feet, and what used to be my grandparent’s house, where the nights were dark, and the sky was closer, has turned into a viaduct supporting a kind of highway with secondary road traffic, which skips the valleys and pierces the mountains of the Madeiran capital as if avoiding submitting to the curves of reason and values other than those of concrete and corporate greed.
With this project, I initiated a healing process that engaged the community and utilised art as a means of depicting the nostalgia and memories that are connected to the area. The use of photography and other mediums of visual art creates a narrative that reflects the biased abstraction of a life that is remembered and depicts the nostalgia reverberating from our collective memories formed from a biased abstraction of a life we recall having.
The lessons of the floating giants