O Dia se Zangou
For some time now, I have been following the work of Vitor Sá. I am continually impressed at his capacity to absorb diverse influences and synthesize them into an exercise in photographic language. In the photo series “O Dia Se Zangou” (The Day Became Angry, the title from a Brazilian samba by Mauro Diniz), Vitor refers to the melancholic atmosphere around Cariocas (locals from Rio de Janeiro), and tourists when it’s a dreary rainy day and they cannot go to the beach. The pictures are of landscapes, classic theme, taken after thunderstorms or on foggy, gray mornings. The image is, in principle very light, almost easy. Then, you confront the photos: large horizontal washed out colors, omitted iconographic elements of the sky such as clouds, horizons, sun, birds, etc. The front shots and straight angles have some influence of traditional German photography. This relationship, established by a determined photographic tradition, is directly reflected in the content of the images: a simple landscape is a subtle commentary about urban structures, human appropriation of public spaces, and investments in infrastructure.
In addition to the horizontal smudge of colors, there are also vertical elements such as stakes, volleyball poles, and soccer goalposts, which draw attention to another side of the world: Japan. These vertical elements give a particular geometry to the space. It is consistent with traditional Japanese style. It’s an adjustment to the composition, like an internal tuning fork that vibrates in harmony with the form, peaceful and calm. In this sense, the work demands a careful assessment from the photographer, which traditional German style does not necessarily care.
Finally, the washed out colors, a vintage look, and a way of someone who posts his pictures on Flickr, are not mere coincidence. Vitor’s photography enhances certain movements of contemporary culture. Similar to certain traditional German styles, the everyday ordinary and popular experiences are present. It is a democratic space of expression and greeting. Vitor Sá does not quote, he alludes. He does not relate to, he refers to. The proposed dialogue is not a symposium, is a friendly conversation in a city square, eventually serious, usually mild and thought provoking.
- Sávio Ivo