Catarina Fontoura, Invocations

A work in process edit usually takes the form of a spare wall in the corner of a room, and very rarely is there a chance to see the bigger picture in a larger space. There is a beauty to the work in process edit, it squirms and dodges any real definition until you manage to clamp it down and say this is the final presentation of these ideas. It is a beautiful transitional period for the life of a work as it attempts to break the first step of existing for our eyes to see, as spectators to it.

Catarina Fontoura has worked an edit in a space, under the work in progress title 'Invocations' (pictured above). It was a delight to see refreshing images on a wall, away from the ordinary conventions of continuous frames at continuous sizes, yet the images have avoided the trap of contemporary photographic exhibitions, placing imagery in a supposed disorder when it is all intended to break the tradition. The work has surpassed this idea, so much so, its not even in the same room as that genre of work. As a dynamic shift occurs as you wander around the space, seeing framed imagery and large and medium prints on the wall, it conveys the heart of something, a place where ideas are tried, looked at and refined. It is not definite, nothing is, and this edit relishes in this temporary nature. It is unassumingly brilliant. It does not know how good it really is, as it presents its struggles, the constant thought of what it will project, over and over and over to our minds end, till when we sleep to wake up and think of the very same. It is the photographers edit, the human mark of mistakes, brilliance, spontaneity and pure joy.

This all goes someway to describe it's presentation, but what is ultimately needed to understand the meaning is to look at the content. This is an us and them situation showing a capturing and a fleeing, an intense journey to capture the unfamiliar and grand fleeing from the man with the purple jumper and his net. There is a gentle violence to the actions taken on board, as a pin is placed to clamp down an insect, floating in a contraption for viewing. Man's pursue to capture the uncaptured, to gather what escaped, to research what defies our knowledge base. This as a process is violent, but we look at it with accepting eyes. We do not think of it at first to be violent, as they are much smaller than us, they are not the dominant force. Nature, in this case is man's prey.

In terms of a perspective from the maker and collector, she goes to make records of them, but does not need to clamp them down, as a flash pours out into the light of the night sky, revealing reflections of the behinds and faces of insects alike. It is a playful reaction to a serious inquiry for people. Man becomes part of the offering, as the same flash is applied to him treating him in the exact way. He is bizarre, they are bizarre and photographs are attempting a documentation of this process. The photographs have summed up a weirdness, a strangeness that relies on the pursuit for knowledge and understanding of vulnerable creatures. Using pictures to present a question, what is it all about. But in this process also feeding our visual need to look at things differently.