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06/04 – 18/05 2019


Mendes Wood DM São Paulo is pleased to present the first solo exhibition of Sofia Borges at the gallery. Working primarily with photography, the artist creates her images by combining and overlying the incognito in a constant process of excavation - often creating subtracted images from other images, thus proposing apocryphal writing about the inception of everything.

A spiraling practice of searching for the origin and density of the image, Borges explores an exercise of observation and addition of layers of meaning, content, and the material about what is seen, what is revealed behind the surface. Her practice is antithetical to the photographic media, which proposes to register the visible, almost in a practical ontological activity on the conception of the understanding about the whole. Borges gives us the doubt of the reverse: material images, documenting the invisible side of the perception.

By carefully selecting the angles from which she takes her photographs, the artist breaks with the notion of the icon and transforms it into an image, releasing it from its primordial meaning or context. By choosing to focus on specific details of an object or composition, the artist causes a discussion about how language can define, blur, or erase questions about the visible and what a photograph is.

In the first room of the exhibition, the walls support indecipherable photos on a large scale, who through an experience with the idea of monumentality. Deliver a sphinx that challenges not only those who observe it but themselves, while suggesting lineages such as pure and the impure, the authentic and the uncertain, and after presenting them she rearranges.  The result of this is almost mythological, bringing to mind the Sophists, a philosophical current that emerged in ancient Greece, which gives the pictorial activities a mythical character.  The enigmatic quality of an image is thus a defining aspect of her work.

Taken by a pigment that covers the walls in the North Room of the gallery, Borges conceives friction between the enigma of the color and the mask. The artist's gaze is no longer a look at an exterior, but at the existences that are perceived. It proposes the matter of myth, the substance of emptiness, which inside a dark box covered with charcoal, calls for light, as well as fire, which exists first in the light, as well as the image, which exists before all the visible.

Sofia Borges (1984, Ribeirão Preto) lives and works Between São Paulo and Paris.

Recent exhibitions include: Being: New Photography, The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2018); 33rd São Paulo Biennial – Affective Affinities: The Infinite history of things or the end of the tragedy of One, São Paulo (2018); 7th Daegu Photo Biennale, Daegu Arts Center, Daegu (2018); Il Coltello Nella Carne, Padiglione d’Arte, Contemporanea, Milan (2018); No Mold For White But No Mold For Fire, Float Gallery, Athens (2017); CORPO A CORPO: a disputa das imagens, da fotografia à transmissão ao vivo, Instituto Moreira Salles, São Paulo (2017); Black Chalk and White Charcoal or The Myth of The Absent Matter, Foam Fotografiemuseum, Amsterdam (2016); De Mineralis, pierres de visions, Institut d’art contemporain, Villeurbanne/Rhône, Alpes (2015).

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