António Júlio Duarte’s (Lisbon, 1965) first solo exhibition at the Gallery coincides with an unprecedented moment in contemporary history that has put men in a limbo, in the sphere and atmosphere of a transitory space which the instability of time seemed to announce. Although the exhibition does not place itself, at all, in this illustrative sphere, it brings to the gallery space some situations and impressions that reactivate this experience of disturbance that is played today in the field of transience, highlighting the most elementary expressions of survival, fear and uncertainty – the present day nourishes, so to speak, the reading of Eclipse.
The nine photographs, originating in three distinct territories – Taipei (Taiwan), Hong Kong (China), Colorado (USA) – (although we could consider more than just the three territories) suggest a voyeurism about the condition of being in the world: men, animals, nature, which are blended here. There is a light that ignites over the event, a gaze that sees, but without any judgment, only directing the spectator’s contemplation to this naturalcondition of inhabitant and survivor, of the one who moves – either through leisure or through fear -, or the one who is there, simply, and in any case, always elementarily subjected to its primary condition as an inhabitant of the earth. As if one could not escape it, because it crosses the world, it happens in the forest and also in the city, in the realm of the primitive and the civilized, in the public and private spheres.
Together, the images point to the moment of transformation, that space that stretches between one thing and the other, between one state and another state, between time and another time; a moment, which is not an instant, but a phenomenon that can be noticed because something changes inside or around, a variety of hypotheses that embody an idea or the vision of the eclipse.
Maria Joana Vilela