«In short, memory cards so that we do not forget...»
PHOTO REPORTS AS A WORK OF ART?
Art at the behest of storytelling and news, of different approaches and ways of ‘telling’ – now that the printed press of major outlets is disappearing. The support of galleries, art collectors, and prizes like this one in Coimbra make it possible for the winners to continue their work thanks to that recent realisation. Over the last several years photographic report gained a new ground in the traditional space of the Gallery. Photo reporting has lost the paper space but gained the wall space. The demise of the news magazine partly explains the move. Such migration, from an economy of the multiple to the single, is profoundly transforming for photo reporting. On one hand, because it sacralises photographers turned artists: their work is assimilated in an art piece running the risk of distracting the gaze of the observer who no longer seeks information but rather the pleasure of aesthetics. And, on the other hand, by modifying the status of the photographs themselves: a status that swings along a register foreign to their documentary core eventually bringing forth other relations with reality.
That being said, events like this give a platform for the “new” talents to express themselves and find the ways to tell their stories, hence these events are so key – So that we never forget. So that we no longer hear that “we did not know.”
To make visible the ‘Invisibles’, as in the «Without Light» story, or the blind athlete, or the depopulation in the centre of Portugal, or the young- matadors hopefuls’ dreams of glory, and over ten more individuals who will stay in our collective memory thanks to this encounter and to the passion of all these photographers who believe in what they do. It is always a privilege to discover and to help to showcase future talents even if some of them need to improve.
Lastly, the pleasure of working alongside my prestigious colleagues, some of them dear friends…
Thank you, Luís, for this opportunity to discover these stories and their authors.
Keep in mind, beware of aestheticism!
PATRICK CHAUVEL JULY 2020