Fluvial is a meditation on the beaches and villages of inland northern and central Portugal.
Photographed between 2011 and 2018, these fluvial scenes transmute personal geography into a fictional atmosphere. Testifying to the author’s lifelong relationship with northern and central Portuguese riverside beaches and villages, they act not in the manner of a topographic survey, but rather by equating erosion with vision. Just as the river currents have shaped the natural elements, time’s passage appears to have freed his gaze from irony, predisposing it to form and analogy, and to kindness towards his equals.
Capturing families at informal moments within Portuguese society, predominantly emigrant workers home from northern Europe for the summer, bodies, tree trunks and riverbed rocks are made to resemble small sculptures (some of which are anthropomorphic). The human body, here almost amphibious, is often reduced to a simple form, to the submerged surface, either adopting the stream bed as an optical instrument, or by shaping it with light.
The human and non-human bodies emerge from chiaroscuro schemes, either as elements of an illusory mise-en-scène, or defamiliarized, reduced to mere form, as if under a spell.
Realistic yet dreamlike, conveying a pagan sense of nature, creating the atmospheric effect of an infinite Sunday, it reminds one of a summer dream – a visual ode to human relaxation.
Tito Mouraz (b. 1977, Portugal) completed the Visual Arts and Photography course at the Superior Art School of Oporto in 2010. Today, he lives and works in Oporto. Mouraz has been exhibiting regularly in Portugal and abroad since 2009. Some of his most significant exhibitions have taken place at Módulo Gallery (Lisbon); Format International Photography Festival (UK); Blanca Berlin Gallery (Spain); Tampere Art Museum (Finland); Fotofestiwal Lodz (Poland); Festival Circulation(s), Paris (France); Encontros da Imagem, Braga (Portugal); and Voies Off Gallery, Arles (France). In Portugal he is represented by Módulo - Centro Difusor de Arte, Lisbon.
The exhibition is part of the international Transeurope project, which promotes the collaboration, visibility and international mobility of photographers, industry experts and institutions across Europe. The project has been running from 2017 to 2019 and has included 14 workshops and group exhibitions all over Europe. In three portfolio events in Helsinki, Athens and Madrid, 80 photography and art experts reviewed the portfolios of photographic artists. 350 artists from 29 European countries and three artists from South America have taken part in the project.
The project is led by Fundación Contemporánea (Spain) with Euromare (Greece) and the Finnish Museum of Photography as partners and is funded by the Creative Europe program. The project website serves as an open platform where the photographers showcase their portfolios to industry professionals and others who are interested in photographic art.