A Necessary Realism

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Pierre von Kleist / MNAC, 2018. First edition.
Softcover with dust jacket, 190 x 265 mm, 240 pp., 148 illustrations. Photographs by José Pedro Cortes. Text by Juliao Sarmento, Nuno Crespo, José Tolentino Mendonça, David Santos,Emilia Ferreira, Shoair Mavlian (English / Portuguese). Design by Jose Pedro Cortes, Paul Hutchinson.

In A Necessary Realism, José Pedro Cortes renews his way of looking at the matter and surface of the world. Through a set of photographs taken between 2005 and 2018, Cortes looks at the representation of the body in this complex and vulnerable time.  
In contrast with neoliberal realism, his images affirm the necessity of not allowing ourselves to be subordinated to pragmatic vision of life, because reality is not mechanic, linear or numerical, but a challenge that demands daily attention and reflection.

Throughout the book we come across men and women who look at us, others who sensually caress each other in bed, or we observe a group of friends languidly relaxing on the lawn, on a summer’s afternoon. There aren’t any geographies or time scales, and, as observers of José Pedro Cortes’ photographs, we are voluntarily invited to make fast, slow, intense movements, which go in and out, attempting to find life, but also the skeleton, ruin and remains that time leaves in its wake.

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Um Realismo Necessário at Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea do Chiado in Lisboa (from 28.06.2018-28.10.2018) Includes a conversation between José Pedro Cortes and Nuno Crespo.  Essays by Shoair Mavlian (director at Photoworks UK), David Santos(Curator and Art Historian), Julião Sarmento (Artist), Nuno Crespo(Researcher and Art Critic). And a previously unpublished poem titled Music for images by José Pedro Cortes by José Tolentino Mendonça (Poet and Head of the Vatican Secret Archives). Conversation and texts in Portuguese and English.

Read more:

British Journal of Photography

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