Praia Piquinia 11/08/10 12h15
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"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." —Marcel Proust
In 2004, Portugal presented itself as a new landscape in my life—both literally and metaphorically. Since then, I have photographed exclusively along a very small stretch of its southern coastline. Traveling there from France several times a year, I've observed its nuances, noting what changes, what stays constant... the subtle and dramatic shifts in its personality, if you will. Year after year, I not only continue to experience the mystery of its appeal, I find I am more deeply intrigued. The results of my obsession have developed into two distinct series. This is an image from Praia Piquinia, a body of work focusing on a singular, secluded beachfront in which all of the pictures are taken from what is essentially the same elevated angle. What the still-life was for Morandi, the haystack for Monet... this beach is that for me. From a distance, I observe the variables: light, weather, time of day, the ebb and flow of the ocean and, most importantly, the sunbathers, unaware, below my large-format camera. The images are shot vertically, a departure from the traditional, horizontal format in landscape photography. It puts my subject matter in the form of a portrait—an ongoing record of this corner of nature (and human nature), over the minutes, the days, the years. Ultimately, I try to instill an element of time within these captured moments... visceral time, elastic from one image to another. Praia Piquinia has peeled back layers in how I see and, as a result, in how I experience it. Together, we are evolving. The place is the same, but as always, I seek to have new eyes.
Christian Chaize | See All Editions