Issuu on Google+

TÍTULO: About AUTOR: Sónia Pestana DESIGN: Sónia Pestana ORIENTAÇÃO: Rui Mendonça Trabalho realizado no âmbito da disciplina Design II, da Faculdade de Belas Artes da Universidade do Porto 1ª edição Porto, Abril 2010

Como estudante de Design de Comunicação, a minha identidade é contruída não só através do EU, mas também da análise do outro. “About” é composto por diversos artigos de autores conhecidos e anónimos que admiro e me identifico, mas também que de certa forma infuenciam o meu trabalho enquanto designer. A identidade está associada ao sujeito no seu íntimo, enquanto pessoa e autor, mas por muito definida e única que seja a identidade de um indivíduo, tem sempre base no mundo exterior, ou seja, nos outros. O outro faz parte da construção da minha identidade, ajuda a conhecer-me relativamente aos meus gostos e preferências, logo a minha identidade parte da identidade do outro. Estes artigos selecionados pretendem focar várias áreas que me motivam não só no design mas também na arte, como por exemplo: ilustração, cinema, música e fotografia. “ABOUT” é uma junção do EU enquanto designer através de outros designers e artistas.

















113 \\ CHAVÕES














GRAPHIC AUTHORSHIP What does it mean to call for graphic designers to be authors? “Authorship,” in one form or another, has been a popular term in graphic design circles, especially those circles that revolve around the edge of the profession, the design academies, and the murky territory that exists between design and art. The word has an important ring to it, and it connotes seductive ideas of origination and agency. But the question of how designers become authors is a difficult one, an exactly who are the designer/ authors and what authored design looks like depends entirely on how you end up defining the term and criterion you chose to determine entrance into the pantheon. In order to subject the problem of design authorship to close examination, it is first necessary to dispense with some definitions before moving on to more specific design examples and suggestions for possible theories of graphic authorship. It may also be useful to reexamine the preconceived qualities we attribute to this powerful figure, the author, and wonder how those attributes apply to a profession traditionally associated more with the communication than with the origination of messages. Finally, it is interesting to speculate about how theories of authorship can serve to legitimize marginalized activities like design and how authorial aspirations may actually end up reinforcing certain consernotions of design production-notions that might contradict the stated goals of the budding designer/author.

WHAT IS AN AUTHOR? The issue of the author has been an area of intense scrutiny over the last forty, ears. The meaning of the word itself has shifted significantly over history. The earliest definitions are not associated with writing per se, in fact, the most inclusive is, “the person who originates or gives existence to anything.” But other usages clearly index the authoritarian — even patriarchal — connotations: the “father of all life,” “any inventor, constructor, or founder,” “one who begets,” and “a director, commander, or ruler.” Basically, all literary theory, from Aristotle on, has in some form or another been theory of authorship. This paper, however, is not a history of the author, but a discussion of author as metaphor, so I start with recent history.

Wimsatt and Beardsley’s seminal text, The Intentional Fallacy (1946), drove one of the first wedges between the author and the text, dispelling the notion a reader could ever really “know” an author through his or her writing. The so-called death of the author, proposed most succinctly by Roland Barthes in 1968, I is closely linked to the birth of critical theory, especially theory based in reader response and interpretation rather than intentionality. Michel Foucault used the rhetorical question, “What Is an Author?” as the title of his influential essay of 1969, which, in response to Barthes, outlines the basic taxonomy and functions of the author and the problems associated with conventional ideas of authorship and origination. Foucaultian theory holds that the connection between the author and the text has transformed and that there exists a number of author-functions that shape the way readers approach a text. These stubbornly persistent functions are historically determined and culturally specific categories. The earliest sacred texts were authorless, their origins lost in ancient history (e.g., the Vedas and the Gospels). In fact, the ancient, anonymous origin of the text served as a certain kind of authentication. The author’s name was symbolic, never attributable to an individual. (The Gospel of Luke, for instance, could be a diversity of texts gathered under the rubric of Luke.) On the other hand, scientific texts, at least through the Renaissance, demanded an author’s name as validation. Far from objective truth, science was based in personal invention and the authority of the scientist. By the eighteenth century, Foucault asserts, the situation had reversed; literature was authored and science became the product of anonymous objectivity. When authors came to be punished for their writing-i.e., when a text could be transgressive-the link between author and text was firmly established. Text came to be seen as a kind of private property, owned by the author, and a romantic criticism rose up that reinforced that relationship, searching for critical keys in the life and intention of the writer. With the rise of scientific method, on the other hand, scientific texts and mathematical proofs were no longer authored texts, but were seen as discovered truths. The scientist revealed an extant phenomena, a fact that anyone faced with the same conditions would discover. Therefore, the scientist and the mathematician could claim to have been first to discover a paradigm, and lend their name to the phenomena, but never claim authorship over it. (For instance, the astronomer that discovers a new star may name it, but does not conjure it.) Ownership of the text, and the authority granted to authors at the expense of the creative reader, has fueled much of twentieth-century obsession. Poststructuralist reading of authorship tends to critique the prestige attributed to the figure of the author and suggest or speculate about a time after his fall from grace. The focus shifts from the author’s intention to the internal workings of the writing itself; not what it means but how it means. Barthes ends his essay supposing “the birth of the reader comes at the cost of the death of the author.” Foucault imagines a time when we might question, “What difference does it make who is speaking?” All attempt to overthrow the notion that a text is a line of words that releases a single,

theological meaning-the central message of an authorlgodand refocus critical attention on the activity of reading and readers. Postmodernity began to turn on a “fragmented and schizophrenic decentering and dispersion” of the subject, noted Fredric Jameson. That sense of a decentered text — i.e., a text that is skewed from the direct line of communication from sender to receiver, severed from the authority of its origin, and existing as a free-floating element in a field of possible significations — figured heavily in recent constructions of a design based in reading and readers. But Katherine McCoy’s prescient image of designers moving beyond problem solving and by “authoring additional content and a self — conscious critique of the message... adopting roles associated with art and literature” was, as often as not, misconstrued. Rather than working to incorporate theory into their methods of production, many self-proclaimed deconstructivist designers literally illustrated Barthes’s image of a readerbased text-”a tissue of quotations drawn from innumerable centers of culture” by scattering fragments of quotations across the surface of their “authored” posters and book covers. (The technique was something like, theory is complicated, so my design is complicated.) The rather dark implications of Barthes’s theory, note Ellen Lupton and J. Abbott Miller, were fashioned into “a romantic theory of self-expression.” Perhaps, after years in the somewhat thankless position of the faceless facilitator, many designers were ready to start speaking out. Some designers may be eager to discard the internal affairs of formalism — to borrow Paul de Man’s metaphor — and branch out to the foreign affairs of external politics and content.9 In that way, by the seventies, design began to discard the kind of scientistic approach that held sway for several decades. (Even as early as the twenties, Trotsky was labeling formalist artists the “chemists of art.) That approach is evident in the rationalist design ideology that preached strict adherence to an eternal grid and a kind of rational approach to design. (Keep in mind that although this example is a staple of critiques of modernism, in actuality, the objectivists represented a small fragment of the design population at the time.) Muller-Brockmann’s evocation of the “aesthetic quality of mathematical thinking” is certainly the clearest and most frequently cited example of this approach. MiillerBrockmann and a slew of fellow researchers like Kepes, Dondis, and Arnheim worked to uncover preexisting order and form in the manner a scientist works to reveal a natural “truth.” But what is most interesting in MiillerBrockmann’s writing is his reliance on tropes of submission; the designer “submits” to the will of the system, “forgoes” personality, and “withholds” interpretation. In his introduction to Compendium for Literates, which attempts a highly rational dissection of writing, Karl Gerstner describes the organization of his book, claiming “all the components are atomic, i.e., in principle they are irreducible. In other words, they establish a principle.” The reaction to that drive for an irreducible theory of design is well documented. On the surface, at least, it would seem that contemporary designers were moving

from authorless, scientific text — in which inviolable visual principles were carefully revealed through extensive visual research — toward a more textual position in which the designer could claim some level of ownership over the message. (This at the time that literary theory was trying to move away from that very position.) But some of the basic, institutional features of design practice have a way of getting tangled up in zealous attempts at self-expression. The idea of a decentered message does not necessarily sit well in a professional relationship in which the client is paying a designer to convey specific information or emotions. In addition, most design is done in some kind of collaborative setting, either within a client relationship or in the context of a design studio that utilizes the talents of numerous creative people, thus the origin of any particular idea is increasingly clouded. And the ever-present pressure of technology and electronic communication only further muddies the water.

IS THERE AN AUTEUR IN THE HOUSE? It is not surprising to find that Barthes’s Death of the Author was written in Paris in 1968, the year students joined workers on the barricades in the general strikes and the year the Western world flirted with real social revolution. To call for the overthrow of authority in the form of the author in favor of the reader — read that “masses” — had real resonance in 1968. But to lose power, you must have already worn the mantle. Thus, designers had a bit of a dilemma overthrowing a power they may have never possessed. The figure of the author implied a total control over creative activity and seemed an essential ingredient of high art. If the relative level of genius was the ultimate measure of artistic achievement, activities that lacked a clear central authority figure were necessarily devalued. Almost ten years earlier, film critic and budding director François Truffaut had proposed La politique des auteurs, a polemical strategy developed to reconfigure a critical theory of the cinema. The problem facing the auteur critics was how to create a theory that imagined the film, necessarily the work of broad collaboration, as a work of a single artist and thus a work of art. The solution was to develop a set of criteria that allowed a critic to decree certain directors as “auteurs.” In order to establish the film as a work of art, auteur theory held that the director-heretofore merely a third of the creative troika of director, writer, and cinematographer-had the ultimate control of the entire project. Auteur theory — especially as espoused by American critic Andrew Sarris — speculated that directors must meet three essential criteria in order to pass into the sacred hall of the auteur. Sarris proposed that the director must demonstrate technical expertise, have a stylistic signature that is demonstrated over the course of several films, and, most importantly, through choice of projects and cinematic treatment, demonstrate a consistency of vision and evoke a palpable interior

meaning through his work. Since the film director often had little control of the material — especially in the Hollywood studio system that assigned directors to projects — the signature way he treated a varying range of scripts and subjects was especially important in establishing auteur credentials. The interesting thing about the auteur theory was that, unlike literature, film theorists, like designers, had to construct the notion of the author as a legitimizing strategy, as a method of raising what was considered low entertainment to the plateau of fine art. By coronating the director as the author of the film, the critics could elevate certain subjects to the status of high art. That elevation, in turn, would facilitate new freedoms granted to the director in future projects. (Tantrums could be thrown in the name of artistic vision.

“I’m an artist, dammit, not a butcher!”

Expensive wines could be figured into overhead to satisfy rarefied palates. The parallel to design practice is quite striking. Like the film director, the art director or designer is often distanced from his or her material and often works collaboratively, directing the activity of a number of other creative people. In addition, over the course of a career, the designer works on a number of diverse projects that have widely varying levels of creative potential, so any inner meaning must come through the aesthetic treatment as much as it does from the content. If we apply the auteur criteria to graphic designers, we yield a body of work that may be elevated to auteur status. For instance, technical proficiency could be fulfilled by any number of practitioners, but couple technical proficiency with a signature style and the field narrows. The list of names that could fill those two criteria would be familiar, as their work is often published, awarded, and praised. (And, of course, the selective republishing of certain work, and exclusion of other, constructs a unified and stylistically consistent oeuvre.) But, great technique and style alone do not an auteur make. If we add the third requirement of interior meaning, how does the list fare? Are there graphic designers who, by special treatment and choice of projects, approach the issue of

But if the proclivity of the contemporary designer is toward open reading and free textual interpretation — as a litany of contemporary theorists have convinced us — that desire is thwarted by oppositional theories of authorship. The cult of the author narrows interpretation and places the author at the center of the work. Foucault noted that the figure of the author is not a particularly liberating one. By transferring the authority of the text back to the author, by focusing on voice, presence becomes a limiting factor, containing and categorizing the work. The author as origin, authority, and ultimate owner of the text guards against the free will of the reader. The figure of the author reconfirms the traditional idea of the genius/creator, and the esteem or status conferred on the man or woman always frames the work and imbues it with some mythical value. While some claims for the value of authorship may simply call for a renewed sense of responsibility, at times they seem to be ploys for property rights, attempts to finally exercise some kind of agency where traditionally there has been none. Ultimately, author equals authority. The longing for graphic authorship may be the longing for a kind of legitimacy, or a kind of power, that has so long eluded the obedient designer.

But do we get anywhere by celebrating the designer as the central character? Isn’t that what fueled the last fifty years of design history? If we really want to move beyond the designer-as-hero model, we may have to imagine a time when we can ask. What difference does it make who designed it?

Perhaps, in the end, authorship is just not a very convincing metaphor with which to describe the activity we understand as design. There are few examples of work that is clearly the product of design authors and not designer/authors, and the few clear examples tend to be the exceptions to the rule. I propose three alternative models for design that, rather than glorify the act and sanctify the practice, attempt to describe the activity as it exists and as it could evolve: designer as translator, designer as performer, and designer as director. The first model, designer as translator, is based on the assumption that the act of design is essentially the clarification of material or the remodeling of content from one form to another. The ultimate goal is the expression of the content rendered in a form that reaches a new audience. (I am drawn to this metaphor by Ezra Pound’s translations of poetry composed in Asian characters. Pound translated not only the literality of the character, but the visual component of the poem as well. Thus, the original is rendered as raw material reshaped into the conventions of Western poetry. The translation becomes a second art.) Translation is neither scientific nor ahistorical. Every translation reflects both the character of the original and the spirit of the contemporary as well as the individuality of the translator. (An 1850 translation of The Odyssey will be radically different from a 1950 one.) In certain works, the designer remolds the raw material of given content, rendering it legible to a new audience. Like the translator of poetry, the designer not only transforms the literal meaning of the elements, but must translate the spirit as well. For example, Bruce Mau’s design of a book version of Chris Marker’s film La Jetee attempts to translate the original material from one form to another. Mau is certainly not the author of the work, but the translator of form and spirit. The designer is the intermediary. The performer metaphor is based on the traditional performing arts of theater and music. The actor is not the author of the script, the musician not the composer of the score, but without actor or musician, the art cannot be realized. The actor provides the physical expression of the work. Every work could have an infinite number of physical expressions. Every performance recontextualizes the original work. (Here, imagine the range of interpretations of the plays of Shakespeare.) Each performer brings a certain reading to the work. (No two actors play the same role the same way.) In this model, the designer transforms and expresses content through graphic devices. The score or script is enhanced and made whole by the performance. And so, the designer becomes the physical manifestation of the content not author, but performer: the one who gives life to (who speaks) the content, who contextualizes the content and brings it into the frame of the present. Examples abound, from early dada, situationist, and fluxus experiments to more recent typographic scores like Warren Lehrer’s performance typography or experimental typography from Edward Fella or David Carson. The most notable example is perhaps Quentin Fiore’s performance of McLuhan. It was Fiore’s graphic treatment as much as McLuhan’s words that made The Medium is the Massage a worldwide phenomenon. (Other examples include any number of “graphic


GATEWAYS Há momentos em que somos confrontados com uma variedade de direcções. Podemos estar numa encruzilhada, numa confluência de caminhos ou perante uma série de portas ou corredores, sem saber o que está do ou· tro lado ou no final deles. Como indicação daquilo que podemos encontrar, temos apenas a porta de entrada ou o início do caminho, cada um deles anunciando o que se encontra do outro lado. Esta é uma das belezas das portas de entrada que constituem as capas dos livros. Hoje, um livro sem uma capa impressa e um título parece-nos absurdo, mas até finais do século XIX poucos livros possuíam os tipos de capas a que hoje estamos habituados. Tradicionalmente, os livros eram encadernados à mão, com capas feitas de madeira, pele, prata ou ouro, ou até marfim. Muitos eram decorados, mas durante uma grande parte da história dos livros, os títulos não surgiam na parte da frente. Os materiais pesados utilizados para encadernar serviam apenas para proteger as páginas, cuja impressão era cara. No século XIX, esses materiais foram substituídos por tecido e papel e, pela primeira vez, foi possível imprimir nas capas. Em alternativa, usavam-se as capas de papel para cobrir os livros encadernados, mas aquelas continuavam a ser sobretudo uma protecção, que em muitos casos se deitava fora após a compra do livro. Embora os livros de bolso já existissem no século XIX, só se tornaram aceitáveis e generalizados a partir de 920. O projecto alemão Albatross Books, de curta duração, introduziu os primeiros livros de bolso populares, mas só com o lançamento dos Penguin Books de Allen Lane, em 935, na Grã-Bretanha, é que os livros de bolso de grande consumo e com um design de capas característico se tornaram realmente populares. Isto teve repercussões nos EUA, onde SUrgiram os Pocket Books de Robert de Graafs (1939). Curiosamente, só em 1960 é que a venda total de livros de bolso nos EUA ultrapassou a dos livros de capa dura. Com o desenvolvimento e a expansão da indústria da publicidade no início do século XX, o conceito de tratamento de imagem e de marketing começou a ser aplicado a todos os produtos e serviços industriais possíveis e imagináveis. A indústria editorial não fugiu à regra. Hoje em dia, os editores lutam pela nossa atenção e já há muito que

nos habituámos a que os livros sejam expostos com as capas viradas para nós. Paradoxalmente, a essência de um livro reside no facto de este não poder ser visto de uma só vez, mas apenas por ordem, uma página de cada vez. A excepção é a capa, que é a única parte do livro que pode ser vista no mesmo. A indústria editorial não fugiu à regra. Hoje em dia, os editores lutam pela nossa atenção e já há muito que nos habituámos a que os livros sejam expostos com as capas viradas para nós. Paradoxalmente, a essência de um livro reside no facto de este não poder ser visto de uma só vez, mas apenas por ordem, uma página de cada vez. A excepção é a capa, que é a única parte do livro que pode ser vista no mesmo instante. Tendo em conta a quantidade de livros que existe, conceber capas não é uma tarefa fácil. Num mercado competitivo, uma capa deve conseguir distinguir-se das outras que a rodeiam. O desafio criativo que se coloca ao designer é exigente mas altamente compensador; trata-se de criar uma porta de entrada para o mundo que o livro representa. Esta exposição mostra mais de 400 designs de capas, de 53 designers, de 14 países. Dentro do espírito da série Idiomas, da qual esta é a sexta exposição, Gateways é tanto uma exploração como uma celebração de mais uma forma de design gráfico que faz parte da nossa vida diária. Ao reunir um conjunto de capas de livros contemporâneas, memoráveis, muitas vezes engenhosas e quase sempre belas, a exposição procura mostrar a variedade de abordagens e soluções gráficas e conceptuais que os designers utilizam, no seu esforço para captar a essência de um livro, e ao fazê-lo, captar também a nossa atenção. Além dos trabalhos enviados em resposta a um apelo lançado na Internet, a exposição realça o trabalho de DAVID PEARSON e JON GRAY, dois extraordinários designers de capas do Reino Unido, que foram especialmente convidados a participar e cuja obra ocupa uma secção independente da exposição. Também se apresentam trabalhos de outros designers especialmente convidados, entre os quais ARIANE SPANIER (ALE), HELEN YENTUS (EUA), PAUL SABRE (EUA), CORALIE BICKFORD-SMITH (RU), CLARE SKEATS (RU), JUAN PABLO CAMBARIERE (ARG), GREGG KULICK (USA) e JAMIE KEENAN (RU).

OLHA OUTRA VEZ Conscientes da nossa familiaridade com a forma física e as características visuais dos livros, os designers jogam muitas vezes com as nossas expectativas, levandonos a olhar duas vezes para objectos que achamos que conhecemos. Isto é o que faz, por exemplo, o designer argentino JUAN PARLO CAMBARIERE na capa de El Oro de Moscu, quando brinca com a superfície da capa, ou mais especificamente, com o nosso enten. di menta das superfícies das capas como sendo bidimensionais. Através do uso de uma fotografia cuidadosamente concebida e bem executada, ele reproduz um selo postal e um cordel, e, ao fazê-lo, não só cria a ilusão de três dimensões como consegue transformar o livro inteiro num outro objecto:

“Os romances (...) também desafiam o designer e dão-lhe liberdade para sugerir através da capa não só qual pode ser o conteúdo do livro, mas também as suas qualidades especiais, o seu singular espaço imaginativo.”



O QUE É UMA ILUSTRAÇÃO? Recentemente, escrevi um texto em circunstâncias pouco habituais: o Júlio Dolbeth e o Rui Santos, meus colegas nas Belas Artes do Porto e donos da Galeria Dama Aflita, dedicada à ilustração, pediram-me um texto que servisse de tema a uma exposição colectiva. Resolvi escrever sobre o Dandy, um tema que já me obcecava há algum tempo e os resultados foram, como seria de esperar, variados — alguns literais, outros inspirados, outros inesperados, outros irónicos, outros meramente banais (tudo o que seria de esperar de uma exposição colectiva). Durante a inauguração, não conseguia deixar de pensar na forma como esta variedade toda, espalhada pelas paredes brancas de uma pequena galeria tinha sido produzida a partir do meu texto. Muitas ilustrações são feitas de propósito para um texto específico; neste caso, eu escrevi este texto para ser ilustrado, não uma, mas dezenas de vezes. O resultado era fascinante, embora o processo não fosse — sem dúvida — a maneira mais comum de fazer uma ilustração. Mas qual é a maneira mais comum de o fazer? Ou melhor: o que é uma ilustração? Quando é que um desenho começa a ser uma ilustração? Quando deixa de o ser? À primeira vista, uma imagem começa a ser uma ilustração quando de algum modo foi feita para representar visualmente um texto. Poderíamos começar por afirmar que esta pode ser uma das características possíveis de uma ilustração. Não se pode afirmar que esta é uma das características essenciais porque representar um filme ou uma música, por exemplo. Poderíamos generalizar, dizendo que uma ilustração é uma imagem que não foi produzida para funcionar por si mesma, mas para estar de, algum modo, ligada a outro objecto (entendido aqui não como uma coisa estritamente material — pode tratar-se de uma narrativa, de um conceito, etc.) Mas o que separa então uma pintura narrativa renascentista de uma ilustração? As duas podem ilustrar precisamente a mesma passagem da Bíblia, por exemplo. Uma resposta possível é que a ilustração foi feita para ser reproduzida em massa, enquanto a pintura renascentista não. Esta resposta é interessante, mas não me parece satisfatória. As ilustrações nas paredes da

Dama Aflita não foram feitas para serem reproduzidas em massa, por exemplo, embora apareçam num catálogo, muitas delas reenquadradas e redimensionadas. Neste caso, são ilustrações porque foram feitas por ilustradores e estão expostas nas paredes de uma galeria especializada em ilustração. Existe assim um lado institucional da ilustração que faz dela a emanação de uma certa estrutura que forma e legitima certo tipo de profissionais. Muita gente dirá que, ao ser exposta na parede uma galeria uma ilustração deixa, pura e simplesmente, de ser uma ilustração – pelo menos no sentido clássico. Naturalmente, isto é um argumento essencialista, que defende que algo só pode ser uma ilustração em circunstâncias muito precisas. Essas circunstâncias não incluem, por exemplo, o facto da grande maioria das publicações portuguesas dispensarem cada vez mais o recurso à ilustração, levando os ilustradores a redireccionarem os seus talentos para exposições e para formatos mais experimentais, o que pode até aperfeiçoar as suas qualidades (já o defendi em outro texto). No entanto, se acreditarmos que existe uma ilustração clássica, quais são as suas características? O que se perde ao colocar uma ilustração numa parede ou reproduzindo-a num catálogo? Na maioria dos casos, perde-se muito pouco; mas alguns raros ilustradores perdem alguma coisa. Esses ilustradores pensam a ilustração não apenas como um desenho que representa um texto, mas como algo que o acompanha fisicamente, que partilha o mesmo suporte, adaptando o seu estilo à tipografia e paleta de cores de uma determinada publicação. Um dos meus exemplos favoritos é André Carrilho, que desenhava grandes formas sinuosas e escuras para casar com as Clarendon do antigo Y e usava um desenho mais delicado e colorido, sem grandes formas negras quando tinha que lidar com a Bodoni condensada do antigo Público. Não duvido que muito desse esforço se devia a um bom art director. Nos exemplos atrás, estava a pensar no Jorge Silva, mas um ilustrador como Carrilho é suficientemente versátil para encontrar um novo estilo para cada nova publicação. Enquanto publicava cá em Portugal, Carrilho costuma fazer as suas ilustrações como apontamentos quase abstractos, quase tipográficos, isolados sobre um fundo liso; agora, ao trabalhar para a New Yorker, por exemplo, tem feito fundos e paisagens, como na imagem que ilustra este post.


ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE Mappletorphe, artista dos anos 70, que de início tencionava ser músico, estudou pintura na Pratt Institute em Brooklyn e mais tarde veio a conhecer o seu gosto pela fotografia. Foi um dos artistas que criticou fortemente os valores impostos pela sociedade (políticos, sexuais e religiosos) denunciando-os sem tabus nos anos 70 e 80, dentro dos princípios da Arte Pós-Moderna. Época que ainda continha muita restrição e regras quanto a temas tabus. Mapplethorpe foi criticado negativamente por muitos critícos de arte, que catalogaram a sua produção como pornografia e não arte. Afinal, era necessário (re)debater conceitos de arte, artista e criação. As suas primeiras experiências fotográficas, a nível de estúdio propriamente dito, tinham como tema a natureza-morta, flores, retratos e nus (temas comuns da pintura), excelentes exercícios para a leitura da luz, contraste, formas, detalhes, entre outros valores plásticos. No entanto, nestes aparentemente clássicos temas introduziu elementos, como a homossexualidade, droga, erotismo, underground, temas sensíveis à opinião pública que o projectou para o mundo da arte.

CONTRIBUTOS PARA A CONSTRUÇÃO DE MODELOS IMAGÉTICOS DA CONTEMPORANEIDADE SUBJECTIVIDADES DAS FOTOGRAFIAS As suas obras projectaram-se pela liberdade e atitude perante o mundo e forma de comunicação, explorando assuntos considerados tabus. Muitos artistas já tinham expressado alguma agressividade, mas nenhum alcaçou a força de Robert Mappelthorpe, que através da escolha da fotografia — temáticas, contrastes, cores, posições teatrais e modelos específicos — identifica o mundo vivencial escondido. As suas fotografias, maioritariamente a preto e branco e em formato quadrado, consistem em não só intimidar e provocar o espectador (“Será que devo de ver isto? Isto é arte?”), mas também dar a conhecer outros mundos completamente diferentes, normalmente escondidos, talvez submundos e odiados pela sociedade em geral. Ele representa pictoricamente na imagem fotográfica o visível: o rosto, o corpo, o sexo, a raça, a flor, e o invisível: o medo, o prazer, a dor, a solidão, a força, o desejo. Cada fotografia tem uma fenda entre o que é, o que foi e o que poderia ser. Cada uma tem o tempo em que foi realizada, o que era ainda por ser realizada (ideia) e o que é hoje (imagem), que na altura poderia ser, arte. Além de provocatórias, as suas fotografias representam o que muitos temiam, pois todos receamos aquilo que não conhecemos. Mapplethorpe não tinha esse medo, ele conhecia aquele mundo, desde as formas (homens e objectos) aos sentimentos (desejo, medo, sonho). As figuras (modelos que se tornam personagens nos seus cenários) já existiam, ele não inventou nada. Daí o afastamento de muitas pessoas ao verem as suas fotografias, por saberem que aquele mundo existe e isso assusta-as. Mas o que intressa aqui, e o que o realçou no mundo artístico, é que Mapplethorpe as viu, conheceu-as e estudou-as e decidiu mostrá-las através da fotografia, numa perspectiva individual, e nós não.

Ao traçar, visualmente, uma linha entre mal e bom, certo e errado, moral e imoral e belo e feio, faz com que todos nós, espectadores, duvidemos de nós mesmos, dos nossos gostos, interesses, sentimentos e desejos. Faz com que queiramos conhecer uma nova parte de nós ou então afastá-la completamente. A ideia de objecto/natureza-morta é essencial na sua fotografia, sejam flores ou corpos. Mapplethorpe disso que: “A minha abordagem em fotografar uma flor não é muito diferente da de fotografar um pénis. É basicamente a mesma coisa. É acerca da luz e da composição. Não faz muita diferença. É a mesma visão”. E é verdade. Quando fotografamos um corpo, uma flor ou um objecto, tudo se torna em algo sem nome. As coisas deixam de ser o que são para se tornar numa outra coisa, apesar de não haver metamorfoses físicas. Já Kant dizia que, para compreender o belo, temos que nos abstrair de todo o nosso conhecimento universal. Não podemos criar regras mentais e rejeitar tudo o que a elas não obdecem. As suas fotografias de corpos em posisão frontal, todas elas destacam o sexo, de modo a intensificar que não há nada a esconder, porque o corpo é natural, é humano. Para isto é necessário uma confiança, abertura e conforto entre o artista e modelo. Talvez até cumplicidade. A sensualidade aqui remete mais para o visual do que para o táctil, mais para o pensar, imaginar, do que para o sentir. Construída através da simplicidade visual, do foco preciso que o nosso olhar não fica indiferente, luz forte e fria que cria os contrastes e modelações do corpo de modo mais orgânico. Tudo isto aumenta a sensualidade visual, não podemos tocar, é algo bidimensional e isso cria uma instabilidade e irritação interior. Mas Mapplethorpe não o faz inocentemente! Ele constrói imagens que provocam sentimentos, que atraiem ou repulsam fisicamente o espectador, que irrita ou cria desejo, que aborrece ou exalta. Tudo é posicionado na galeria com intenção de provocar/incomodar o espectador que ao contemplar aquela foto não pode fugir e pensará no que fazer: se tornar ver ou não. Mappelthorpe transmite a ideia de que apesar de uma imagem ser tabu e provocatória, não quer dizer que não a possamos observar. Se não podemos tocar naquele corpo daquela maneira, por medo ou proibição porque é que não podemos, ao menos, ver a serem tocados? Partilhar a imagem é partilhar a mensagem.

AS SUAS REFERÊNCIAS ESTÉTICO-VISUAIS Como estudante de pintura na Pratt Institute em Brooklyn adquiriu vários conhecimentos histórico-artistícos. Teve um especial interesse pela escultura de Miguel Ângelo, Antonio Canova e Rodin. Os dois primeiros idealizavam o corpo humano, representando-o com perfeição na pedra fria do mármore, mas sexualizavam-no, pormenorizavam-no, criavam uma pureza visual que se tornava erótica e ao mesmo tempo inocente por tão idealizada. Por outro lado, Rodin sistematiza a linguagem clássica com o Romantismo e Realismo, apresentando o homem como uma força da natureza.

Características que Mapplethorpe tinha intresse em adquirir nas suas fotografias. Tendo em mão uma nova técnica, a fotografia, considerada o instrumento que melhor conseguiu captar o pormenor e realismo visual, até aos dias de hoje, conseguiu absorver toda a mensagem desejada. Apesar de todos os pintores extraordinários, como Caravaggio ou até o hiper-realista John De Andrea. Nenhum artista foi desvalorizado por causa da fotografia. Muitos até a utilizaram como fonte visual (Courbet, Degas, Picasso). Lendo o passado como referência estético-visual, Mapplethorpe consegue “congelar” o passado num momento presente. Tráz ao seu presente obras passadas, reintrepetando-as ou reutilizando-as nas formas e composições que deseja. Estas que, a maior parte delas, refere-se à celebração de Eros. Desta forma académica de representar, Mapplethorpe, além do tema, utilizou também a simplicidade visual (imagens em cima). Reduzia a imagem ao essencial retirando todos os excessos de informação, tudo o que é extravagante, e deixando apenas no enquandramento o pormenor desejado, caindo numa imagem minimal, que acaba por valorizar o corpo ainda mais.



STEVE MCCURRY Steve McCurry was born in Philadelphia in 1950. After he began working as a freelance photographer he gained international recognition with his photo-reports on rebel-controlled Afghanistan prior to the Russian invasion in 1976. Since then, his work has featured in National Geographic and many other magazines internationally, winning him numerous awards including the Eisenstaedt Award in 1998. McCurry is a member of Magnum Photos and lives in New York City McCurry photographs all over the world but it is the people, places, colors and forms of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Tibet, Thailand, Cambodia and Burma that have inspired his most striking work - images which transcend their editorial origin to become classics of photography. Steve McCurry, recognized universally as one of today’s finest image makers, has won many of photography’s top awards. Best known for his evocative color photography, McCurry, in the finest documentary tradition, captures the essence of human struggle and joy. Member of Magnum Photos since 1986, McCurry has searched and found the unforgettable; many of his images have become modern icons. Born in Philadelphia, McCurry graduated cum laude from the College of Arts and Architecture at the Pennsylvania State University. After working at a newspaper for two years, he left for India to freelance. It was in India that McCurry learned to watch and wait on life. “If you wait,” he realized, “people would forget your camera and the soul would drift up into view.” His career was launched when, disguised in native garb, he crossed the Pakistan border into rebel-controlled Afghanistan just before the Russian invasion. When he emerged, he had rolls of film sewn into his clothes, images which would be published around the world as among the first to show the conflict there. His coverage won the Robert Capa Gold Medal for Best Photographic Reporting from Abroad, an award dedicated to photographers exhibiting exceptional courage and enterprise. He is the recipient of numerous awards which include Magazine

“Gosto de gente cujo rosto conta uma história, gosto de imagens cruas, nuas...”

Photographer of the Year, awarded by the National Press Photographers Association. This was the same year in which he won an unprecedented four first prizes in the World Press Photo Contest. He has won the Olivier Rebbot Memorial Award twice. Steve McCurry’s job has taken him all over the world and placed him in danger a ton of times. He’s been reported dead in the media twice but he just keeps coming back. Steve is a world famous photojournalist whose work has taken him far and wide. He’s traveled to Thailand, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Cambodia, Tibet, Burma and the Philippines. He’s taken tons of pictures during many wars, often coming very close to death. He was arrested and chained in Pakistan, nearly drowned in a plane crash in Slovenia, beaten up and nearly drowned in India by fiery crowds at a religious riot, and almost killed by rebel fighters in Afghanistan. Steve McCurry made his first trip to Afghanistan in 1979. He disguised himself in the local garb and crossed the Pakistan-Afghanistan border to capture the wartorn country on film. He had to sew his rolls of film into the hem of his clothes to get them out of the country but it was definitely worth the risk. In 1980, Steve won the Robert Capa Medal for Best Photographic Reporting from Abroad for the Afghanistan pictures that appeared in Time magazine. The award is given to photographers that show exceptional courage and performance. For over 20 years, Steve has been taking pictures for National Geographic magazine and is best known for his picture that graced a National Geographic cover in 1985. It was a picture of a 12 year-old Afghan girl who had lost both of her parents in the war when she was just a baby. Her piercing green eyes made the photo one that no one could ever forget. The picture was named one of the Top 100 National Geographic photos by the magazine. In January of 2002, Steve tracked down the young Afghani girl, who is now about 30, and retook her picture. For McCurry, the most frightening moment he had abroad was the time his plane crashed in Yugoslavia. He was taking aerial pictures in a light-weight plane when the pilot lost control. The plane crashed into a lake, and McCurry struggled to get out of his seat-belt and out of the sinking plane. Eventually, McCurry surfaced and swam to shore where a boat picked him up. These dangerous situations in which McCurry finds himself do not detour him from the work he loves, however. One of McCurry’s favorite photos that he has taken is titled “Dust Storm, India.” Taken in Rajasthan, India in 1983, the image of the women huddled behind a tree for shelter is truly,as McCurry puts in his own words, “magical.” Despite the fact that he was worried about his equipment being damaged, he went out in the storm anyway because “that was what [he] was there for.” His style of photography captures the raw instances in human lives, when people are being themselves. McCurry says he likes to wait with his subjects and joke with them to lighten the mood. He says that eventually they forget the camera is even there and their true essences shine

through. Perhaps one of McCurry’s most famous photos, “Afghan Girl,” captures the essence he discusses. The photo, taken in 1984 is of an Afghan girl who had escaped to a refugee camp in Pakistan. Only 13 years old at the time of the photo, her identity was unknown, though her face was recognized throughout the world. The photo appeared on the cover of National Geographic in June 1985. The picture earned McCurry numerous awards, and National Geographic named it their most recognized photo. In 2002, 18 years after he first captured her face on film, McCurry went back to Afghanistan to find and photograph the unknown girl again. Though the journey was tiring, and he was almost exhausted, the trip was a success, and again her picture appeared on the cover of National Geographic in April, 2002. Today, Mr. McCurry favorite place to go abroad for his photography is Asia, though he does find the western United States, in particular the Grand Canyon area, “one of the most spectacular places in the world.” He spends the majority of his time traveling and plans to do so for the rest of his life. McCurry has published a number of his collections in the form of books. His work is also displayed on exhibit throughout the United States and abroad. He has offices in Pennsylvania and New York, spending most of his time in New York.

CRÍTICA Steve tenta mostrar através de suas fotos, o seu olhar, a sua visão do mundo. Tenta mostrar “o momento”, tenta captar a história de uma vida através de uma foto, de um simples olhar, como fez com a menina-afegã, Sharbat Gula, foto conhecida pelos quatro cantos do mundo, simplesmente pelo sério olhar penetrante da garota, que contava uma história de terror e sofrimento na guerra. “Gosto de gente cujo rosto conta uma história, gosto de imagens cruas, nuas...” — Steve Mccurry Steve foi a índia mais de 60 vezes e trabalhou na National Geographic por mais de 20 anos. Morou 2 anos no Paquistão e viajou ao Afeganistão 16 vezes, cobrindo a terrível guerra civil. Recebeu muitos prêmios, entre eles, a medalha de ouro “Robert Capa”, por coragem excepcional. Suas fotos estão hoje em mais de 25 livros e, um em especial, é o recente “Looking East”. Apesar de mais de 25 anos fotografando terríveis momentos de sofrimento e guerra, Steve não se sentiu totalmente preparado para o maior acontecimento de sua vida, a tragédia ocorrida em 11 de Setembro. Steve foi um dos primeiros a registrar o terrível momento e, mesmo sabendo que seu melhor amigo tinha sido morto na tragédia, teve que deixar a tristeza de lado e deixar o profissionalismo falar mais alto... a dor? Deixaria para depois, algo que seria inevitável... Steve documentou os primeiros momentos da tragédia do dia 11 de Setembro em Nova York, através da janela do seu escritório. Nem a guerra no Afeganistão, preparou-o para aquela terrível experiência.Decorrido ao ódio dos terroristas no atentado de 11 de setembro, os afegãos carregam um grande fardo e, Steve sabe muito bem do sofrimento de alguns “ou muitos” afegãos, o qual lutam apenas pelo



COCOROSIE CocoRosie is a musical group formed in 2003 by sisters Bianca “Coco” and Sierra “Rosie” Casady. The sisters were born and raised in the United States, but formed the band in Paris after meeting for the first time in years. Their music has been called “freak folk”, and incorporates elements of pop, blues, opera, electronica, and hip hop. CocoRosie was originally a duo, with Sierra singing, playing the guitar, piano and harp, and Bianca singing and manipulating various children’s toys, electronic and percussion instruments, as well as other exotic noisemakers. They subsequently added various backing musicians at live shows, usually a bassist, synth player and beatboxer. They have been a very active touring group, playing across Europe, the United States, and elsewhere. As of 2009, they have released three full-length albums.

BACKGROUND Sierra Casady was born in Iowa, and Bianca was born in Hawaii. When Sierra was about 5 years old and Bianca 3, their parents separated. The girls lived with their mother, Christina Chalmers, an artist and singer of Native American and Syrian ancestry who grew up in Iowa. They moved to new towns almost every year, living in Hawaii, California, New Mexico, and Arizona. Because their mother believed that the girls would learn more doing art in the “real world” than in school, neither sister finished high school. Chalmers nicknamed her daughters “Rosie” (Sierra) and “Coco” (Bianca), from which the musical act takes its name. The Casady sisters are now estranged from their father, an Iowa farmer who became interested in Native American religion. As children, the sisters spent summers with him, while he visited Indian reservations and took part in vision quests. The girls did not enjoy these experiences at the time, but later came to appreciate some of the things that interested him. In 1998, at about age 18, Sierra moved to New York City. Two years later, she moved into a tiny apartment in the Montmartre district in Paris, France, to pursue a career as an opera singer, studying at the Conservatoire de Paris. During this

Sierra lost contact with Bianca, who was living in New York City. Bianca studied linguistics and sociology, and pursued her passion of visual arts and writing. She also collected a variety of tattoos, and was known to attend controversially “ironic,” white-held “Kill Whitey” parties in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

DEBUT ALBUM In 2003, Bianca was growing restless and decided it was time for a change. She left her apartment in Brooklyn to travel the world. Unexpectedly, she showed up at Sierra’s apartment in Paris. Over the course of the next two months, the women spent nearly every waking hour in Sierra’s bathroom, chosen as the most acoustic and isolated room in the apartment. Soon, they had completed their debut album La maison de mon rêve. Originally, La maison de mon rêve was only intended to be distributed among a close circle of friends. However, by 2004 the lo-fi album was released on independent label Touch and Go Records, who had obtained a copy of the CD and had uncharacteristically pursued signing the artists. Since the creation of their first album, the Casady sisters have been virtually inseparable.

SUBSEQUENT WORK CocoRosie released their second album, Noah’s Ark, in 2005. The album includes collaborations with Antony Hegarty from Antony and the Johnsons (“Beautiful Boyz”), Devendra Banhart (“Brazilian Sun”), and French rapper Spleen (“Bisounours”). The album was recorded in a variety of locations as the sisters traveled. The album’s cover, a drawing by Bianca of three unicorns having sex while one of them vomits, was selected by The Guardian and Pitchfork Media as one of the worst album covers of all time. In 2006, Sierra started a side project, Metallic Falcons, with friend Matteah Baim; they are signed to Voodoo Eros Records, a new label started by Bianca with business partner Melissa Shimkovitz. Bianca also opened the Voodoo Eros Museum Of Nice Items, an art gallery and performance space in New York City (123 Ludlow St) most recently home to an exhibition of Bianca’s art Red Bone Slim VS. Itself: an Exhibition of Drawings. CocoRosie’s third full-length studio album, The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn, was released on April 10, 2007. It was produced by Valgeir Sigurðsson, Björk’s longtime collaborator. The songs are about the Casady sisters’ family and their deceased brother. It was recorded at their mother’s farm in the Camargue region of France. The album’s cover is a photo by Pierre et Gilles that features Sierra, Bianca, and Bianca in drag. In a 2008 interview with, Bianca expressed surprise that many people do not question if she is gay, given

that she frequently performs in drag. In May 2007, while touring in support of The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn, the band was involved in an incident which resulted in the cancellation of the remainder of the North American leg of the tour. No official explanation was released; vague and unconfirmed reports claimed that unidentified members of the band were arrested and deported while crossing the US/Canadian border. On May 13, 2008, CocoRosie released a new single entitled “God Has a Voice, She Speaks Through Me”. The song was released digitally and as a 7” picture disc single (limited to 3000 pieces). The B-side of the 7” features a short and untitled song, which merely consists of noises. Though the picture on the B-side of the vinyl has lyrics from the song “Hairnet Paradise”, which was previously only performed live, the actual song on the recording is very different. The status of their relationship with Touch and Go records is unknown, as Touch and Go announced they may not be releasing any new records after spring 2009. [citation needed] In the meantime, a self-released EP entitled Coconuts, Plenty of Junk Food was made available for sale exclusively at CocoRosie shows on June 3, 2009. A fourth full-length album is planned for a 2010 release.

A new album will come out on May 11th 2010.

The two sisters changed their labels and signed to Sub Pop. The nomadic duo (currently and temporarily residing in New Mexico) spent much of 2008 writing and recording in Buenos Aires, Melbourne, Berlin, New York, and Paris, finding amazing and diverse musicians to collaborate along the way. The result is their 11-song Sub Pop debut, Grey Oceans, due out May 11th, 2010. CocoRosie was named the 16th most influential artist of the decade by betterPropaganda in 2009.

COMMERCIAL USE CocoRosie’s music has been used in various perfume advertisements including Kenzo’s Amour which used “Good Friday” as well as Escada’s Into the Blue which used “Not for Sale” in recent advertisements. Both use aspects of romance and slow speed motion film. In 2005, Frederic Sanchez used “Brazilian Sun”, “Not for Sale” and “Good Friday” as part of the soundtrack he created for Miuccia Prada’s spring 2006 show. The piece was called “Coco Rosie Through the Looking Glass”. In 2008, music by CocoRosie was used in a Swedish rendition of Shakespeare’s Hamlet at the Royal Dramatic Theatre (Dramaten), with Jonas Malmsjö playing Prince Hamlet. The song “Werewolf” is repeatedly sung by Ophelia and Hamlet throughout the play. CocoRosie has composed two film scores, in 2005 for the French movie Frankie and in 2007 for the German movie Haus der Wünsche (international: “Paperbird”). In 2007, their song “Candyland” was used in the film Anna M. by Michel Spinosa. The songs “Bear Hides and Buffalo” and “Houses” are featured in the gay zombie film Otto; or Up with Dead People (2008) by Bruce LaBruce.

text book