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MARIO MACILAU

Rituals, Spirits and Sea

November 14 – January 20, 2020

#soloshow #africanart #photography

Mario Macilau is a photographer from Mozambique, who through his works restores the dignity of socially isolated groups. Immortalize faces and inhabited places by marginalization and suffering, with the aim of restoring their esteem and respect, as inalienable values. He returns several times to places and people before photographing them, to be able to connect with the subjects and themes that interest them. Through this process, when he photographs, he not only creates images, but transmits a state of mind, that which is perceived beyond injustice.

The exhibition is divided into 10 large-format black and white photographs aimed at investigating the inalienability of hope and dignity. The Faith series and a new cycle on water, focus on the animism that still exists in Mozambique. In these photos there is no distinction between the object and the man, each element is not random and acts as a link with other dimensions: this is why his photographs show an alternative social complaint, less provocative but more icastic. A real anthropological study about the social abandonment, and not only, that those communities face. A way to protect one’s own culture, spreading it in a globalized environment that tends to neutralize origins, folklore and diversity. A multi-purpose reflection that concerns everyone, not just socially isolated groups.

Mario Macilau | Bio

Born in 1984 in Maputo, Mozambique.

He lives and works in Maputo, where he grew up and where since he was a boy he worked on the street and among the faces he is now photographing.

His career as a photographer begins in 2003 and becomes professional when in 2007 he exchanges his mother’s cell phone with his first camera, then enrolling in the Centro de Formação and Documentação Fotográfica in Maputo. His work has been exhibited in many solo and group exhibitions: in 2016 he was invited to participate in a program and an exhibition with the United Nations Office in Geneva, World Press Photo and Universal Rights Group; only in 2015 he was present at the 56th Venice Biennale, was included in the Making Africa exhibition: A Continent of Contemporary Design by the Vitra Design Museum, curated by Amelie Klein with Okwui Enwezor, and was presented at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. Other noteworthy exhibitions are Pangea: New Art from Africa and Latin America, at the Saatchi Gallery in London in 2014; Tempo Galeria Belo-Galsterer, Lisbon, 2013; Dak’art Biennial OFF, Dakar, 2012; Rencontres de Bamako, Bamako 2011. Macilau’s work has also received numerous awards including the European Union Award for Environment (2015), UNESCO-Aschberg Bursary for Visual Arts (2014).