101.rç-cmb (da série Confidencial/Desclassificado: ração de combate) [101.rç-cmb (from the series Confidential / Declassified: combat food)]
Suspending thirty years of drawing and painting, Botelho turned to photography in 2006 so as to resume a central subject in his work, the colonial war – “some things are ‘paintable’”, he explained, “but others are just not.”* Two years later, he inaugurated three exhibitions under the common title of Confidencial / Desclassificado [Confidential / Declassified]. For the Inventário [Inventory] show he gathered images of the weaponry used in the conflict; in Emboscada [Ambush], he exhibited self-representations in various poses and lastly, in a more allegorical group, Ração de Combate [Combat food], the two photos from CAM's collection were featured.
Photography extends Botelho's pictorial practise: the appeal of figuration, the tension among elements, focus, proportion, and a finite espace that is arranged with regard to the limits set by the frame. Such mise-en-scène in photography lives off the traditions and conventions of Western painting, in tableaux vivants that vaguely bring to mind Jeff Wall's photographic work, to which Botelho considers himself closer than to any contemporary painter.** The recent conversion to the photographic act has triggered the artists's personal terrors – and an increasing violent imagery of armed children and corrupt politicians emerging in his works –, through the metallic and exact language that is unknown to painting, in a series of fictioned details alluding to the psychological experience of warfare.
Alcohol, money, knives, cigarettes, sex (lasciviously suggested by a finger inside a bottle, an old genre painting's trick) or gambling. Contrary to the still lifes of past times, where flowers and food were frozen by painting in their climax of prosperity and vitality, all has withered and been consumed in this scenario of trauma, whose bric-a-brac of butt ends, lethal weapons, flat beer, worn-out cards and obsolete money, denies the promise of life.
* Manuel Botelho, S. Pedro do Estoril, 2008/2009. Available at www.manuelbotelho.com
** Cf. Letter to António Matos, December 21st 2002.
These cookies are used to enhance your browsing experience, security and our website's performance, allowing you to access the main features of the website. Therefore, they are always enabled. This type of cookies includes cookies that allow you to be remembered as you browse the website during a single session.
These cookies collect information about the use of the website to improve the services provided and to evaluate the performance of the website. Some of these cookies may be used to test pages or the functionality of the website by measuring the reaction of users. These cookies may be our own and / or owned by third parties.
These cookies are third-party cookies that allow to connect to social media and share multimedia content from our website on those networks. Some of these cookies help us to adapt advertising outside of our website to the interests of the users. By disabling these cookies, it will no longer be possible to directly share our content in any social media
For more information about cookies and the processing of your personal data, please see the Privacy and Cookies Policy. You can change your cookie settings at any time through the link at the bottom of the page.