“Our relations with cities are like our relations with people. We love them, hate them, or are indifferent toward them. On our first day in a city that is new to us, we go looking for the city. We go down this street, around that corner. We are aware of the faces of passers-by. But the city eludes us, and we become uncertain whether we are looking for a city, or for a person”.
Victor Burgin in Some Cities.
In erste Lektionen in Hydrologie (und andere Bemerkungen) a parallel is drawn between my home city of Recife and the person of my father, both continually in a process of change. Loss and alienation are the central themes – approached through issues such as urban development, urban geography and real estate speculation, combined with subjective questions related to affective memory, iconography and the photographic archive as such.
I photographed this project in my hometown in Brazil, in early 2014. In Recife’s particular case, the fact that the city changes so much and so fast (through intense real estate speculation and a monstrous market for luxury apartments) influence drastically the landscapes and therefore how ones deals with memory and feeling of belonging. I mixed the city landscapes pictures with pictures that my father collects of himself since the 70’s. We never had much contact, which means this research was far from being a romantic approach to my father’s past, but rather a detached, objective archive research.
erste Lektionen in Hydrologie (und andere Bemerkungen) is my graduation project for Ostkreuz School of Photography in Berlin, under the guidance of Prof. Ute Mahler. It was presented in October 2014 in form of an exhibition and an artist book (edition of 30) – each book consisting of 7 separate chapters (with 85 images, 7 texts, 7 drawings, in a total of 128 pages) and one optical object (each of them a unique copy).
The selection published here shows one representative picture for each chapter, plus book and installation view.