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Bruno Freitas de Oliveira: The Imperfect Eye of Human Reality

Posted: 08/02/2013 09:34

The enthusiasm for a blurred (and yet utterly beautiful) perception of the world as the creative medium to depict reality inhabits the world of London-based photographer Bruno Freitas de Oliveira writ large.

De Oliveira was born in 1973 in Lisbon, Portugal, where he spent most of his life. In 1999, he graduated from a BA degree in Product Design, and two years later he decided to make London his home. In 2007, and following his passion, he completed postgraduate studies in Photography at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design. He has recently returned to Central Saint Martins to hone his artistic skills and is currently completing a Masters in Fine Art.

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© Bruno Freitas de Oliveira: 'Bush'

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© Bruno Freitas de Oliveira: 'Green'

His talent as a photographer has caught the attention of a few exhibition curators and over the last few years he has exhibited in a number of London venues, including The Arts Club, The Corbet Place, The Gramaphone, The Crypt at Saint Pancras Church, and Stour Space.

He describes his photographs as inhabiting the format of snapshot and documentary while disregarding the idea of authenticity and testimony. To some extent, his work integrates Sartre's idea of 'deceit', of the world as existing only in the description by the Other, where consciousness is pure intention. As such, in de Oliveira's photographs reality is laden with seductive apparent errors, inaccuracies, blurs and imperfect movements.

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© Bruno Freitas de Oliveira: 'Rugby'

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© Bruno Freitas de Oliveira: 'Group'

In some of his work, as in the case of the 'Abfahrt - Trans Europe Express' series (shot on a train between Zurich and Basel in Switzerland), reality exists in the depiction of mechanical speed and industrial backgrounds as an artificial and man-made world that is phenomenologically constructed by human perception. In this series, the Other exists through the mechanical gaze of the camera imposed upon the landscape in the metaphor of the reflection of a female on the inside of the train carriage who does not look at anything in particular. By suggesting the detachment of the human with the urban background, de Oliveira allows for the latter to exist in itself.

Similarly, the series 'Thé Dansant' focuses on capturing the beauty that is inherent to the quick movements of feet of couples dancing. However, rather than portraying the act of dance for its classic splendour, de Oliveira captures glimpses of moments when legs and feet attempt to travel to the sound of music, imbuing this social ritual with imperfect poignant humanity.

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© Bruno Freitas de Oliveira: 'Rose 1'

In his most recent series of photographs, exclusively shown here, de Oliveira questions the flawlessness of representation and the concept of high visual definition as imposed by digital realities. In a way, by creating purposeful scenarios of imperfection and juxtaposed images, the series is a parody of the fashionable artistic (and now already highly dated) sharp digital photography of the 1990s that simultaneously highlights the historical importance of the process of taking photographs and developing them.

There is little doubt that this critical positioning of the I/Eye as a medium for perceiving reality will most certainly position Bruno Freitas de Oliveira as a photographer to watch over many years to come.

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© Bruno Freitas de Oliveira: 'Eliza'

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© Bruno Freitas de Oliveira: 'Adam 2'

 

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