Picture > mineral pigment print on cotton paper (100 x 109 cm)

                All the names is a photographic blow-up of a tiny paragraph on the edition XXX, 31, Part V, of Monday, 16th February 2004 of the Diário Oficial (the Nation’s Official Gazette) of the State of Rio de Janeiro. It contains the full names, arranged alphabetically, of all my classmates who graduated from "high school- general education" in the French-Brazilian school Lycée Molière, in the previous year.

                The intention is not to invoke an old and already worn-out criticism of the bureaucracy of the State, but rather, to reflect on the paradoxical effect produced by the juxtaposition of words related to everyday life ("Diário", in Portuguese, also means "Private Diary" or "Journal") coming from a lexicon connected to privacy, and 'official', coming from a Public and political dimension. And, before the image of ones our experience duplicated by the State, of making positive use of such documents in the construction of a ‘non-subjective’ narrative, about oneself and the world around us.

                Perhaps this is the meaning of the revelation that the anonymous main character (Mr. Jose) goes through in Saramago’s novel, which lends its name to this work. An Employee of the General Registry Office, "world and centre of the world" in his own words, he one day realizes that the collection of information about the lives of Portuguese personalities could not be complete were he not to venture into that labyrinth, held by Ariadne’s thread, searching for the "origin, the root, the provenience, in other words, simply a person’s birth certificate..."

                For, in the end, says the author, none of that would be any worth, "objectively, without the inclusion of some documental evidence, or its true copy, of the existence – not only real but also official – of the subjects".


photography Pedro Victor Brandão