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SHE LOOKS INTO ME / Foreword

Few modern artists possess the aptitude for visually articulating the psyche’s straightjacket of flesh as does Nuno Moreira. Beyond the bold contrasts, the cunning interplays of light and dark and space and negative space, the vibration of the collection you are about to read is one most indescribable. It tugs at our center, our capital-C “Center” — the one whose emptiness we confuse with rapaciousness, whether sexual, nutritional or material — and makes us feel that there’s something there, underneath our own skin, as a result of looking at these images. A hand upon a woman’s head, there and gone, or never there at all, or always there; figures at once tender and malicious, scrutinizing and comforting, and what do they produce? What do these beget? Become? There is more to human nature than simply being human, for being human is, in secret, a matter of being body-bound consciousness. For that matter, ‘matter’ (sharing roots with ‘mother’ and meaning it in several languages), that building block of consciousness and soil from whence it springs, is nothing without our psyches, our selves. How could matter be observed, after all, were it not for consciousness to see her and, in turn, be seen! But are our selves inherently conscious? Do we qualify as ‘conscious’ when we can see ourselves in the mirror, and know it is our self? Do we qualify as ‘conscious’ when we develop language? When we graduate from school? When we learn to help our friends and neighbors and strangers? Or is there something more required — a higher, more intangible realization dependent on the coming together of matter and psyche? Consciousness seeks to blossom, to grow, to live, and yet it seems ever that death falls upon it like a codependent lover unable to resist a dramatic return. Is this how it must always be? Must we fall into the same old traps, time and time again? It is almost impossible to imagine consciousness without matter and matter without death. Almost. Yet, as we reach the end of She Looks into Me, we are forced to ask ourselves what privilege might come in slipping free the surly bonds of matter and of man. When that same matter which helped give rise to consciousness proves, also, to be the source of mortality, it is still the same matter which once seemed so gentle and maternal — which once engendered the egg of our Highest Self. But when the flowers begot by matter’s soil wilt in a way which seems to pain even her, we are forced to imagine a better way: a purer, simpler way, as we believed the world to be when we were children who did not yet understand the verb ‘to die’. Or, at least, when we did not yet tell ourselves that we understood it. You can ask yourself a great many questions about consciousness, life, and death — as many as you can about the poetry of Paul Éluard and certainly as many as you can about the photographs of Nuno Moreira — but the most tempting question must be, must always be, the identity of ‘she’. Is that the question we should be asking, though? Is it more important that we know she who does the looking, or should we consider the idea that we’ve never really known the me whom is observed? M. F. Sullivan

She Looks into Me / Foreword by M.F. Sullivan  

She Looks into Me / Foreword by M.F. Sullivan

She Looks into Me / Foreword by M.F. Sullivan  

She Looks into Me / Foreword by M.F. Sullivan

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