Fora de Registro

The exhibition Fora de Registro is Albano Afonso’s new solo show, open until December 22 at the Casa Triângulo gallery in São Paulo’s Jardins neighbourhood. The thirty-five new paintings featured in the show are photographs Albano has been collecting over the last few years. The images cover a wide range of themes, but the exhibition’s guiding principle is to consider the condition of being present in the world. This is something Eder Chiodetto develops in the opening paragraphs of the curatorial text, writing: “Therefore, all contemplation is also a (super)vision that proceeds from the eyes to the outside, but also to the inside of all of us. When this circuit is activated, we are close to a meditative state.”[1]

And he rounds off his thoughts with the words of Brazilian researcher Boris Kossoy (1941): a photograph reveals not just the reality of the moment of its taking, but a second reality, the reality of the surface printed on a two-dimensional plane, subject to being organically and symbolically changed as it moves through time towards infinity.[2]

Out of register is a term used in photography for printing defects resulting in a blurred image. According to Chiodetto, it can also be a trigger for contemplation. Albano Afonso’s images contain surrealist traits, where the image may not be exactly what it appears to be, but it is certainly a photograph. The exhibition’s organisation could be construed as musical notes, potentially used as a soundtrack for a film, perhaps for Dancer in the Dark (2000) by Danish filmmaker Lars Von Trier (1956). The outcome of the images on display is the fruit of a complex process of modifications and superimpositions. This is not just the mere image click, but the unfolding that this click may achieve, which resembles the language of sculpture.

Amid repeating elements such as gardens – clouds – paintings – hands by the sculptor Rodin (1840), a fish kisses its reflection under a starry sky, whilst rubbish scattered on the floor of Europe is reassembled on an altar, an arrangement that appears to narrate an ancient story. A golden apple glowing in the dark, a snake’s hide, skulls, the swan, grapes and a flower bouquet form the different settings. A dense, granular rock soars overhead like a bird’s feather or a distant memory that appears to be getting further and further away. This mosaic of signs in the dark allows each visitor to move around, create and reinvent new stories and paths during the exhibition.

When faced with Albano Afonso’s images, I was reminded of the text on the back cover of Elis Regina’s record Trem Azul:

“Now the arm no longer is the arm raised when a goal is scored.

Now the arm is a line, a trace, a bright, mirrored trail.

And all the figures are like that: light drawings, clusters of dots,

of particles, a painting of impulses, a processing of signals.

And so – they say – they recount life.

Now they remove my flesh covering, they drain all the blood,

thin the bones into luminous strands and there I am in the hall, in the houses,

the cities, looking like me.

A draft, 

a nebulous form of light and shadow like a star.

Now I’m a star.”[3]

In Fora de Registro, Albano Afonso presents photographs where the shades of green, blue and red herald the urge of life in a nature that is about to die. And he broadens and deconstructs preconceived notions of technique, reality and everyday life, as well as addressing the performative condition of the act of making a photograph. It is also conceivable to establish psychic mobility when confronted with these images.

There is a famous quote by Proust (1923): “The real voyage of discovery consists, not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes”.

So, here’s the invitation to go on a voyage.


[1] Quote taken from the Fora de Registro exhibition room text.

[2] Quote taken from the Fora de Registro exhibition room text

[3] Text by Fernando Faro (1927-2016) published on the back cover of the record Trem azul (1982) by Brazilian singer Elis Regina (1945-1982).

Ian Gavião is an artist, independent curator and art educator. Graduated in Fine Arts with specialization in Sculpture and Photography at the Guignard School of the State University of Minas Gerais. Postgraduate student in Art Curatorship at University Nova of Lisbon (FCSH). Presented two individual exhibitions, at Casa Fiat de Cultura (2022) and at Sesi Minas (2021), in Belo Horizonte - Brazil, where he also idealized the independent curation project Xenon. Participated in group shows and artistic residencies in the cities of Belo Horizonte, São Paulo and Lisbon, where currently lives and works.

Signup for our newsletter!

I accept the Privacy Policy

Subscribe Umbigo

4 issues > €34

(free shipping to Portugal)