Miguel Rio Branco - Out of nowhere

First major exhibition of Miguel Rio Branco in the Netherlands

17 September 2006 to 03 December 2006

The first major exhibition of the work of Magnum photographer Miguel Rio Branco, in the Netherlands. The subjects of his photographs stem from the everyday world surrounding us. He focuses on life on the outer edges of society.

The exhibition is based on construction and montage and will consist of nine installations: Negativo Sujo, Blue Tango, The Valve, Petits Boxeurs, Arc de Triomphe, Hole in the Wall, Nada Levarei, Out of Nowhere, Shark Piece, Between the Eyes, Barro, Barroco, Gritos Surdos I en Gritos Surdos II.

The work of Miguel Rio Branco, as a painter, film maker, installation maker and photographer, has an almost physical effect on the viewer. This effect is caused by his choice of colour, theme, and manner of presentation. As a visual artist, Rio Branco takes his subject matter from the world around us. He is primarily oriented to occurrences on the fringes of society. Branco does not shy away from situations that symbolize loneliness, power, sex, and violence.

One of the first installations Miguel Rio Branco made and which will be presented in this exhibition is Negativo Sujo. It dates from the 1970s and is a poetic statement related to Brazilian reality as a country looking for its own identity. The installation consists of a compilation of photographic images glued to brown paper and could be regarded as a sequence of images which is basically the way films are constructed. In that sense it shows the artistic and cinematographic view of the artist.

Although Miguel Rio Branco is often referred to as a photographer he never had close bonds with any ‘official´ photography. Instead Rio Branco draws his influence from movies, but also magazines such as Playboy and Life magazines. In this exhibition the photographs are part of installations in which he makes use of various other media and therefore they are used as construction. In other words, Miguel Rio Branco combines pure photography with projections, film, paintings, newspaper cuttings, and music.

The exhibition can be regarded as a labyrinth through which the viewer can meander and perceive the world through the eyes of the artist. This exhibition shows his look at reality through the eyes of a cinematographer and less as a photographer. Miguel Rio Branco says: “This exhibition is a subversion of reality and poetic statements are more real than reality itself.”

Noorderlicht (Northern Light)
Photos by Miguel Rio Branco will be on show at the Noorderlicht Photo Gallery, Akerkhof 12 in Groningen, from 17 September to 12 November 2006: Dislecsia The exhibition coincides with the annual Noorderlicht photographic manifestation, which will be held in Leeuwarden this year. (www.noorderlicht.com)

  • Miguel Rio Branco: Between the Eyes, © Miguel Rio Branco/ Magnum Photos