To observe the landscape, to be observed by it. To insist on that glance up to the moment when its intensity destabilizes reason. Until the landscape transfigures into reflection. To keenly witness the delights and traits of nature and see in them the resonance of our own states of mind unavoidably implies a kind of emptiness as far as the conception and certainties of the self are concerned. For some reason, not only noticeable by technical strategies but also by a clear dilution of the photographer standing before the landscape, Marcio Vilela’s silent photographs of the “Azores” series invoke a «metaphysical self» that transcend the limits between observing and reference, being and landscape, culture and nature.
Vilela states he left to the Azores “in search of an encounter”. Certainly. In search of himself, his essence mostly, which through a single snap of his camera leads him to perceive the adventure of his individuality and the universal portion that connects him to the human quintessence.
A photograph: plentiful tree tops paired up and creating a spatial hiatus between them. By placing them as the lead focus and calibrating the lighting, that hiatus becomes dark, mysterious, unfathomable, as if it were a hint to our subconscious. That dark space, instead of asserting an absence, detects the presence of something that is yet to come. A branch tears up the monotony of the composition by creating an unexpected diagonal turn. It is therefore created a bridge linking the two trees, the two bodies, despite of what may come from the darkness that is now somewhat forgotten. Is it a metaphor for the solutions the reason creates in an attempt to solve the drives of the unconscious?
It is us now that stand before these photographs. And it is because of that singular game broken out by photography that we are impelled to take the place of the photographer. The purposes of the direction of the arrow onto the target are re-established. The bowstring might ultimately cut right through us. “Where there’s an encounter, there’s a return”, says the artist. The photograph is thus that everlasting return to an encounter that happened in the past and that goes on in enduring mutation as nature, as us.
— Eder Chiodetto