José Luís NETO (b. 1966)

Photographer, represented in both foreign and national collections, exhibits on a regular basis. In 2005 he won the BES-Photo prize (portuguese photo prize).
Should it be considered that, as Barthes did, the essence of photography lay in the "ça a été" ("that has been"), in a luminous and geometric radiation from an object, bestowing photography the characteristic of a certificate of presence, then José Luis Neto’s work would lay beyond this artistic realm. However, Neto masters the photographic process, he carried out various works with chemigrams, works pertaining exclusively to the technical devices of photography and works of appropriation photography. In some cases the raw material of these works are pictures or film that, involuntarily or voluntarily, went through such harsh conditions that they end of certificating the presence of no object at all. Indeed they destabilising their objects while opening up surprisingly broad networks including other images and cultural references.
In 2006 Neto exhibited the “High Speed Press Plate” series, constituted by images obtained from forgotten and damaged glass plates. The public saw (projected) in these images the most astonishing worlds, from aerial views to microscopic entities.
In the last three years he has been working on the “July 1984” series, based on abandoned amateur photographs. These went through varied processes of degradation/transformation (heat, damp, etc). The “July 1984” series is “haunted” by a significant part of 20th century visual culture from Richter and Twombly to Pop and psychedelic culture, aspects of architectural and cinematographic culture, as well as the world of amateur photography, just to quote a few examples.

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