Tabula Rasa,

Tabula Rasa series [act I, act II, act III]
inkjet print on photo luster paper 260gr
60x40cm (6 of 19)


A presence-absence play between a trace of a body and the viewer. There is no physical body, but its presence is felt, it has remained in its clothes. Questioning the viewer’s gaze as a presence in the image, thus filling the void that the photograph portrays.

Tabula Rasa is divided into three acts, composed of singular images and diptychs. The absent presence that the series seeks to allude to is part of a personal experience with the places represented in the images. These are familiar, but distant and transitional places, liminal spaces that evoke the feeling of another presence appearing apart from ours. Therefore, Tabula Rasa seeks to project this sensation through a trace of a trace - a photograph of clothes; as well as explore how the presence or the void can change the space and our perception of it. What do we see in the void?

“Tabula Rasa” comes from the philosophical idea that all knowledge comes from experience or perception, which means people are born a clean slate. Here this concept is expanded through photography by raising the question of a gaze that completes the photographs, a gaze which fills or empties them, the question of a body that may or may not be present. Photographs are in it self a tabula rasa, a clean slate, in which our gaze creates an image. Ultimately, Tabula Rasa is questioning the nature of photography using the medium itself.


Exhibition view at Vieira da Silva Municipal Gallery


Photo — Fernando Pina