O EDITORIAL Álvaro Ramos, February 2016 ENG Created between Lisbon and Tokyo, ZONA is the new book by photographer Nuno Moreira. With texts by the writer José Luís Peixoto, the limited edition book explores fears, dreams and inner landscapes, result of the constant reflection of Nuno Moreira’s search in deepening the ideas that grow in his inner world. ZONA will be launched on the 5th of March at Ermida Nossa Senhora da Conceição, Lisbon, where an exhibition with the book’s photographs will be held until the 27th of March. O Editorial spoke with the photographer to learn more about the project. What led you to be a photographer? Nothing in particular, it was a construction that happened progressively. I always used different forms of creative expression: writing, drawing, painting, installation … But I never felt really comfortable with how the ideas were gaining shape through these mediums. With photography, and more specifically with the book format, I feel I can get closer to the original idea and still respect what I intend to explore, which is always something more evocative and close to the literary universe. Photos are usually the culmination of a process of writing, reading and much thought. The bottom line is that pictures are the more consistent form of expression with the vision and the original idea I have. When we think of photography we usually think of an image or a set of images, frozen in time, but in my view the work I do is not only photography, it’s a more broader field of study which allows me the freedom to explore, experiment and ramble on questions I ask myself and that I hope can be shared by those who randomly find my work. The reality is that I shoot very little compared to everything else I do. What were the locations or occasions you enjoy the most shooting? Photography allows for something very beautiful: looking at things in a fresh and new way. Whenever I pick up a camera, and I don’t do it very often, I try to be aware of this, that what I’ll see has to fascinate me. Maybe I will not understand everything at the time of shooting but if I’m fascinated or if there’s something indecipherable, that's when it's worth pressing the shutter. I noted also that this might be the reason why I don’t like to take pictures at other times. If I feel that I’m not inclined to do so, I will obviously not take a camera out to go photograph, I try to keep myself consistent and respect this principle because I have respect for the medium I’m using and to me this is not an entertainment or hunting activity. It is not even a medium I use in a commercial sense, because I do not live from photography. For me photography serves solely to give form to thoughts and ideas. This is not to say that the time of shooting is a serious moment, I would rather say that I photograph always with purpose and with my head full of thoughts.
Why did you create the book ZONA? What motivated the book was the need to materialize a number of ideas into something concrete, or at least palpable. What interests me is the idea, working with ideas. And this is something that takes time and needs to be nourished. For me the process of working on a series of photos requires dedication and a certain degree of space and intimacy. I have to approach a set of questions and want to work with them for a long time. These questions must continue to echo long enough for me to understand that effect might continue to reverberate for longer than just implementing the project. If this happens, I feel the images deserve to leave the studio and enter into dialogue with more observers. This series in specific come from the need of trying to work visually with the invisible, with issues related to the immaterial. And I wanted to address these issues in a very concrete and real way, and that’s what led to the making of these photos and consequently the book. It’s an ambiguous work and open to many interpretations. Where do you get inspiration? Mainly in the singular and the absurd … It inspires me to hear - or see - something which is true and (still) feel surprised, as is the case of Herberto Hélder, that I have been reading these days. I get inspired with what is difficult by nature: hard to get, hard to find, difficult to understand. I’ve always been like that, since childhood, I like what is not easy.