Cosac Naify, 2001. First edition. Hardcover, 170 pp. + 38 foldouts, color illustrated throughout, 140 x1 40 x 25 mm. DVD included. Photographs by Miguel Rio Branco. Text by David Levi Strauss (English / Portuguese). Design by Jean Yves Cousseau.
This ambitiously conceived project is the photo book version of a power bar—thick, rich, at times hard to chew, but re-energizing nonetheless. There is no opening text whatsoever. One is thrown immediately into Rio Branco's visual world, the first scenes of which are a vast desert. But from here the viewer is led haphazardly through a free-association of dream-like imagery.
Every other page is a fold-out, each time producing a triptych of full-bleed photographs. A gathering of living artifacts and clues seems to be taking place, yet, quite intentionally it seems, no over-arching picture emerges. This is a questioning process, as David Levi Strauss' poetic text 'Between the eye, the desert: In the Dark', with overt references to Plato's cave, makes clear. The accompanying DVD Between the eyes, the desert, with installation views of the slide installation and additional images by the photographer, sets the entire book in motion.