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© Jiôn Kiim and Artur Leão


Teaching Projects

other projects


In this gallery, the Contemporary Photography Projects (CPP) should be visually narrating a landscape of absence and oblivion since ruins or absent spaces imply in a way a lack of meaning or use, “islands” in the city. They tell us a parallel story, a different space and world in relation to the productive city of everyday life. Many of these structures, now abandoned to their own materiality, are no longer occupied, unless by scarce waste and the stubborn vegetation that tries to regain its place. This flora now occupies some of the spaces and decorates the landscape, dramatizing the scene of ruin. In these spaces, where the memory of the past predominates over the present, the urban citizen often explores the strangeness of those places, taking advantage of their inoccupation and the sense of freedom that the abandonment allows. 

These empty spaces occupy significant places in the city, prompting a reflection on their role and potential futures. If the economical, political and architectural interventions have, on other abandoned constructions, colonized such spaces, making them productive and giving them an identity, there is also place for preserving such places as alternative spaces in the city, areas that have a memory of the past but simultaneously empty of an imposing identity, spaces of an expected freedom. What future and what role may these places have in the city, as really unique areas? 

Apparently, we can’t find the balance between radical intervention, which always tends to unify the territory, making it recognizable, identical, and the total abandonment and alienation of these structures in relation to the spaces of everyday life. It remains for us to rediscover these spaces, consumed by time, and enjoy its freedom and uncontaminated magic by power or reason of the operative city.

Thus, Ruins and Abandoned Spaces will contribute to understand how cities are dynamically transformed through subjective personal tactics of appropriation of the urban space because many of these ruins are the stage of different way of acting upon the city. 

As Ignasi de Solà-Morales points in Terrain Vague (1995), photographers show a special sensitivity to make us understand what in the territories presents as "imperceptible" or "invisible" when looking at everyday life.  In fact, contemporary photography is one of the arts that better succeeds in communicating a unique analytical vision able to simultaneously understand the reality and interpret it, images capable of questioning the territory, showing the ways it is transformed and lived, its conflicts and heterogeneous materials and architectures, thus being used as significant means of communication and research. The concept of "narrative" here becomes extremely important in influencing the way people understand and perceive the territory and how it is being lived and transformed.  In fact, the challenge is that the CPP become in a way architectural promenades sensitive both to the spatial and constructive issues of these architectures as to their aura and genius loci.

Thus, through Ruins and Abandoned Spaces the tension between what the territory is and what it may become will be made more visible, evincing the importance of these spaces as agents of positive change, helping in this way to create a dynamics of interaction between various public spaces.