Mauro Pinto, Blackmoney

The exhibition Blackmoney is currently at Galeria 111 until November 7. Mauro Pinto, born in 1947 in Maputo, shows us what we all already virtually know. Something that, with virtuosity, we have forgotten – the tool-man, the means-to-a-bigger-end-man. A man who, all over the globe, takes the form of entrapped children, women and men. In this exhibition, composed of (disconcertingly) simple and quiet photographs, we have the interludes of what we can guess to be a raw and hard reality associated with the working conditions in the extraction of ore and fossil fuels in Mozambique. Although the artist specifically photographs in the province of Tete, he tries to portray working conditions that are transverse in various regions of the planet, where Tool-men carry out precarious and dangerous work.

Mauro Pinto went through painting and, at the end of the 90s, took a photography course at Monitor International School. He did an internship with photographer José Machado and, in 2012, won the 8th edition of the BESPhoto Prize. With internationally recognised work, his works have been exhibited in almost all continents.

In Blackmoney, it is possible to sense Mauro’s intention to make us think about the social and economic reality of his country. The photographer captures subjects who, according to him, make him feel so small and so big at the same time, considering the dignity with which they face their difficult life in search of subsistence. In these photographs, we see ill-treated bodies, marked by time and violent work, which merge with the mines, the harsh and trepid environment that serves as the background for these (in their most varied formats) challenging portraits.

This exhibition has photographs that tell silent stories and realities. Light-like images that take us to the universe and make us walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, showing us the share of its essence, and bringing us closer to a reality that is sometimes too distant.

Although there is no proof of decent working conditions, in these photographs we find an empty, housed, practically conformed resilience. It is dreamless and has found no other resource than to accept precariousness.

They are witness-photographs of a social and cultural context, of a continuous and endless struggle for survival. We must see them to reflect on abuse, violence and the exploitation of those who are instruments to generate “wealth”.

Rui Gueifão (Almada, 1993), lives and works in Lisbon. He is graduated in Visual Arts by ESAD.CR and is also a master’s degree student of Philosophy-Aesthetics at FCSH – Universidade Nova de Lisboa. He has collaborated with different contemporary art related spaces and institutions as Museu Fundação Coleção Berardo, Caroline Pàges Gallery and Galeria Baginski. Since 2018 he has been producing different types of text work, having already contributed for publications and exhibition texts. He has been developing and exhibiting his artistic work since 2015.

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