5. 9. — 11. 11. 2008
Andrej Balco Domésticas
Although the author’s point of departure for his
"Brazil photos" is anchored in traditional color documentary
photography, the photographer’s signature style is gradually gaining in
originality and much greater penetration. He does not seek to emphasize the
Brazilian "style", nonetheless he doesn’t omit it. Balco finds
contemporary life in the largest and most populous Latin American country,
which today has nearly 200 million people, in particular thematic constants.
The theme was to have been the daily lives of men and women employed in
Brazilian households. He then confronts images from their lives with ones from
the daily lives of their middle-class employers. As the Brazilian cult author
Paulo Coelho has said: "The theme of man in search of his own identity
doesn’t deal with the old and worn-out categories of right and left."
Balco shows not only the ability to empathize with the "otherness" of
an environment, but it is as if he continually reopenes paths to the
"humanization" of all too clearly shaped destinies, in many respects
by circumstances. The constants of broadly conceived narrative images and
elsewhere the functional use of the delimitation of the space, which confirms
the identity of those photographed, bring the photographer’s work close to the
contemporary approach of the so-called New Documentary. The more (or less)
present appeal of the colonial style with roots in Portugal or Spain in villas
that are swimming in green and the unplastered masonry of the tightly delimited
area, the clarifying blue pool and sizzling asphalt roof with oddments and
plastic chairs. People, coming to their jobs in the homes of the more fortunate
in the "chameleon disguises" of elegant uniforms so different from
their own clothing. But at the same time because of the prodigious linking of
the two social strata (even though one family may have a stray mutt as a pet
while the other owns a riding horse) their human fate remains intertwined.
Balco says, "As a small boy I had a favorite book, There Behind the River Is Argentina. It was huge and full of strange, even frightening photographs. I spent a lot of time with it. In the little hamlet where I spent part of my childhood with elderly parents, I fell in love with the countryside in this book. Thus I already know it — it attracted me like a beautiful woman who knows what love is." And the south of the Federative Republic of Brazil borders with Argentina. What more could you wish than to move a little closer to your childhood dreams again.
Andrej Balco is represented by Leica Gallery Prague. More about him can be found under the reference PHOTOGRAPHERS