TITLE : HOMAGE TO BERNARDO SOARES
SERIES
AUTHOR : FRANCISCO UCEDA

 

Everything evaporates from me. My whole life, my memories, my imagination and what it contains, my personality, everything evaporates from me. I continually feel that I have been another, that I have felt another, that I have thought another. That which

I attend is a spectacle with another stage. And that which I witness is me.”

(Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa)

 

Francisco Uceda guides us through Redhook, a neighborhood in New York City undergoing gentrification, where people are drawn silhouettes.

ARTIST STATEMENT

In the ever-evolving cityscape of New York, where construction and deconstruction become the rhythmic pulse of existence, the series Homage to Bernardo Soares seeks explores the dynamic nature of this metropolis. As the city relentlessly reinvents itself, tearing down old structures to erect new ones, and gentrification sweeps through neglected spaces, a neighborhood emerges from the margins: Redhook. This photography series delves into the essence of this overlooked enclave, capturing the character-fragments that inhabit its streets. Through the interplay of silhouettes, shadows, and everyday scenes, I invite viewers to contemplate the profound narratives that unfold within the relentless march of progress.

Redhook, until recently, stood apart from the bustling frenzy and economic fervor that characterizes New York City. Nestled in the periphery, it harbored a sense of detachment from the city’s ambitious pursuits. In Homage to Bernardo Soares, I aim to shed light on this neighborhood’s untold stories and overlooked beauty. Within the seemingly futile struggles of daily life, I uncover fragments, remnants, and traces of people who appear to exist outside the relentless present. These character-fragments become the focal point of my visual narrative, providing glimpses into a time that resists the pressures of progress.

The character-fragments that traverse Redhook manifest as silhouettes in white or shadows in black, infused with a trace of humanity. These figures, set against the backdrop of this marginalized space, evoke a sense of both presence and absence. The blank silhouettes suggest the excision of bodies from the visual realm, while the shadows hint at a body already absent. It is through this interplay of presence and absence that I explore themes of impending disaster, the decline of civilization, and the anguish of lives left on the margins. In contemplating these photographs, viewers are invited to delve into the complex emotions and narratives that emerge from the delicate balance between existence and erasure.

Without delving explicitly into the concept of positive or negative space, the absent figures within the series serve as harbingers, foreshadowing the fragility of existence and the potential for decline. These character-fragments speak to the impending disaster that hangs in the air, the erosion of a civilization, or the quiet demise of lives consigned to the margins. As viewers immerse themselves in the photographs, they bear witness to the failure of a neighborhood or a city that was not. Through these images, I seek to shed light on the often-overlooked consequences of urban transformation and the impact it has on those on the fringes.

Within Redhook’s streets, the character-fragments embark on their own journeys of observation and introspection. They walk their dogs, read newspapers, and marvel at the ordinary occurrences that captivate the eye of the flâneur. Everyday discoveries, such as an open book lying on the sidewalk or the demolition of a familiar building, become moments of serendipity that inspire reflection. Through the lens of the camera, I capture these instances of rediscovery, inviting viewers to join the flâneur’s gaze and find beauty in the banal.

Homage to Bernardo Soares is ultimately an exploration of narrative. Through the visual language of photography, I aim to weave a tapestry of stories that resonate with viewers on a profound level.

 
 

 

FRANCISCO UCEDA Almería, 1969 (Spain)

Uceda teaches at the School of Education at the City College of New York and is a World Languages teacher at the Bronx Institute of Science. He holds degrees in Anthropology and Art (Bard College), and Spanish and English Philology (University of Almeria), and a Master’s degree in Education of Spanish as a Second Language (University of La Rioja) and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership (Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts).

Since 2001 he has lived in New York where he combines his teaching work with photography. He has been showing his photographic work for over thirty years in solo and group exhibitions in Spain, USA, Portugal, Italy, France and Germany. Uceda is a two-time recipient of the Imágenes Jóvenes Award, from the Youth Institute of Spain, and has been invited twice to participate in the Biennial of Young Artist of Europe and the Mediterranean (Lisbon, 1994 and

Rome, 1999), or in the last five photography festivals PhotoEspaña (2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023). He has received several national and international photography awards and has 15 solo exhibitions and over 40 group exhibitions. Francisco Uceda’s artistic approach throughout his life has largely questioned the conventions, archetypes and stereotypes of the collective Western imaginary. His work lies halfway between the truthful document and the simulacrum, between reality and, at times, a whimsical and harsh fiction, creating a body of work that traverses his personal experience, but is inserted into the current social, political or artistic discourse.

His photography is in continuous dialogue with literature as evidenced by the two books of photography published to date. To date he has co-published two books of photography, La desolación del náufrago (2000) and Fulgores Vanos (2021).

Francisco Uceda links :

If you like this content please support the author + Woofermagazine and share it :

CAR TO CAR

Mario Mencacci Bandini portrays the parallel life that people live inside their cars.

swimming pool with turquoise water, red and white tiles and green plants

ONE POOL, LOS ANGELES

Robin Bell spent two years taking photos of this pool in Los Angeles to understand what the city represented for him.

abandoned yellow house under a bridge

LA QUARTA ROMA (THE FOURTH ROME)

Cities tell their stories through their shapes, the infinite grid of streets, buildings, squares. Massimo Valentini’s gaze is a particular one.

BERLIN FLASH

Martin’s work is a reflection on the human condition in urban space. Berlin plays a crucial role in Martin’s work. His style is both: poetic and at the same time analytical.

logo woofermagazine
DON’T MISS A THING
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER NOW