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X-Ray of a Photographic Practice

The exhibition Raio X de uma prática fotográfica (X-ray of a photographic practice) approaches the role of architectural photography and the way Fernando Guerra, founder of FG+SG, develops it. His studio, with around fifteen years of age, has followed the growing recognition of Portuguese architecture, working alongside architects such as Álvaro Siza Vieira, Aires Mateus, Manuel Graça Dias, Gonçalo Byrne and João Luís Carrilho da Graça.

Fernando Guerra has now decided to reveal his archive of images and objects, which is a product of a continuous work in this field. The several points of view he is capable of presenting, translucent, aim to be an X-ray of what he deems as his photographic practice: before, with film; after, with digital. Each photo reveals much more, going beyond the invisible: the photo equipment, the accessories, the tools and the drones are part of what happens in the shadows, where the staging he is going after actually destabilizes the autonomy of architecture. The elements that are strange to the walls, like people, animals and cars, pollute the environment that the photographer aims to capture.

Photography is what establishes a bridge between architects and society. Not the floor plans and the cuts, but the images. These are the ones that are able to express purposes and intensities in architecture. “Is architectural photography a thematic genre of photography? Or does it belong to architecture’s representation modes?” These are the questions posed by Luís Santiago Baptista, the curator.

The photographers are the ones who transform the work of an architect into the possibility of being something more; of travelling and renouncing its primary, static, condition. That’s what is important for Fernando Guerra indeed, the feasibility where one image gains its own life, going beyond a mere work that has been delivered. Architecture in itself does not move him. What moves him is the connection with people with whom he crosses paths, with every work made. The story behind each image, where photos work like anchors.

The umbilical bond between photographers and architects is obvious: a connection that nurtures the trust in everyone’s work, and that becomes friendship. And, in this regard, one can emphasize the relationship between Fernando Guerra and Álvaro Siza Vieira. The latter, in the exhibition, appears as a decisive figure in the evolution of his career as a photographer.

The city and the possibility to capture an urban environment were, from the beginning, models for the photographic practice. The technical evolution in the field of photography allowed the mass expansion of images and its promotion in digital means, even though the subjects remain the same. These represent the main form of promotion, in a society that has a never-ending need for images to feed itself. The platform últimas reportagens (last reports), founded by Fernando Guerra in 2004, promotes a free access to the images he captures. Constantly updated, he assumes a compulsory media coverage as a constituent part of his photographic practice.

The exhibiting project, authored by Studio Pedrita (Rita João and Pedro Ferreira), thus suggests different narratives on photography, organized by themes and nuclei, assuming different presentation supports.

Raio X de uma prática fotográfica, on exhibition at Garagem Sul (CCB), until October 15.

Lisbon (1989). Graduated in Architecture Studies (2012) and Masters in Architecture (2015), both from the Autonomous University of Lisbon. Postgraduate in Art Curation (2017) by the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities of the New University of Lisbon. She works as an architect in an atelier in Lisbon.

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