Luiz Braga: a photograph of "Caboquice"?
Luiz Braga’s photography research began in January 2018 during my Degree in Theory, Criticism, and History of Art at UnB, supervised by Professor Adriana Macedo. At that moment, I was mainly interested in how this artist created, throughout his almost forty-year career, a visuality about caboquice in the Amazon region of Pará (Brazil) through photography.
In May 2018, I participated in an artistic residency with Luiz Braga and ten other photographers in Marajó. This experience of seeing the artist taking photographs helped me to understand up close his creative process, and his interaction with people in the community, as well as having the opportunity to hear some of his stories about some of his most classic photographs.
Luiz Braga carried out several aesthetic experiences in photography, from his black and white, through his Nightvision series, to his color photographs. However, color does not appear alone in his work, but it is in intimate dialogue with caboquice.
In 2021, I decided to do a master's degree in Social Anthropology at the University of Goiás (UFG), under the supervision of Professor Glauco B. Ferreira. This research aims to make a dialogue between the artist's photographic production superimposed on the caboquice category on Marajo Island -PA, Brazil.
Below are some photographs taken by the artist Luiz Braga over the last few decades. I use these photographs in my research for the Master's research in Social Anthropology at UFG. Finally, here is the artist's website with all the photographs, as well as his Instagram.
In May 2018 I participated in Vivência Marajó, an artist residency on Marajo Island, Pará, Brazil with photographer Luiz Braga. During this experience, I made a photo series about the Carimbó called Marajoara I, II, and III. Carimbó is a musical style from the northern region of Brazil that mixes African, indigenous, Portuguese, and Caribbean musical rhythms, in addition to the use of vibrant colors.
As I have always been interested in the relationship between photography and painting, I decided to experiment with the long exposure refusal of the digital camera in order to create that sensation of brushstrokes in these photographs about Carimbó.
I even made a video called “Dance of the Marajoaras Waters” on the Marajo Island coast. The relationship between the river and the cultural traditions of the island's residents are linked in a very intimate way, including the use of vibrant colors in the calligraphy of the boats.
When does a trip begin? When we make the itinerary or when we buy the ticket? I heard this reflection from the artist Karina Dias, and this anecdote has been with me ever since. I never looked for an answer, but this question has helped me reflect on when I began this journey of dialogue with Luiz Braga's photography.
The first step was the dialogical relationship about the way “Caboquice” was imagined by Luiz Braga and the different interpretations made by anthropologists over time, as well as the agency of photographs in the various institutional spaces that construct meaning, shape memory and provoke debate, such as museums, galleries, cultural centers and exhibitions which the artist held.
Finally, I chose to work with three different kinds of photographs (Night vision, black and white, and color photos).