ERRATA.

(2020)



 
“Nuno Moreira is a photographer that has continuously privileged the monochrome and the language of portrayed bodies. Throughout his several exhibitions and published books, the portrayed body (and its shadow), as well as the landscapes and forgotten objects of daily life, engage a constant dialogue with their spectator, as though waiting to be activated by a simple word.

In his most recent book, Errata, conceived as an object-book, Moreira reiterates precisely the photographic and photographed body’s dependency on words; what the first suggests and the next expands; what the former reveals and the latter dims to shadows. The monochrome enhances the solitude and mystery and summons, at the same time, the ever-present sign of time. There’s always something to say to the past, always something to clarify or to add.

It’s now up to David Soares to converse with Nuno Moreira’s images, in an exercise that demands both proximity and sharing, not only between writer and photographer, but also between these and the reader or book user. This is, after all, an object that requires handling and physical contact that demands page turning and the close attention of the reader. The manual stitching evokes that quasi-religious and intimate act between hand and book; word and image.” 

- Umbigo Magazine








ERRATA is a completely handmade edition, of which only 50 copies were made, all bound, numbered and signed by hand.

"With this book, I intended to create a unique and enigmatic object that escaped the idea of being easily labelled as a photobook. In my opinion, it is more of an "object-book", being closer to an object and less of a book. It was designed to stimulate the senses, having an intimate and very elliptical perception curve, due to the very nature of what was photographed."

As is usual in Moreira’s editions, he invites writers to look upon the atmosphere of the images and create a text. This time the invitation was made to David Soares, a renowned author in the world of comics and novels of historical and occult themes.

Moreira says that “it is very important to mention the participation of the writer David Soares in this edition because the result is, in my view, very well achieved. When I invite an author to write a text for a book, what I try to do is see how his authorial style combines with mine, as disparate languages can take on new contours. What fascinates me about this visual game between image and text is what we build in the intersection of these two languages (writing with words and with light) – that is, what the reader can imagine. Since this is a book that pays direct homage to literature and imagination, David was instrumental in creating an object so unusual and special.

In books as in life, options are not casualties and more often than not one is surprised by the sudden fire of chance, mystery, accident, catastrophe, or merely reality imposing its cruel grip on our controlled comfort. The error is mostly avoided. The accident is overlooked as tragic. The mystery is perhaps more a risk than an instigating surprise.

Bellow the surface, in the deep inkling waters of turning pages and flickering shadows lies the truth.



Everything makes sense in reverse.






Book Reviews


”(...) ERRATA is a cinematic, existentialist essay that explores mysticism and metaphysics through the metaphor of the book. Grainy, high-contrast images chronicle a cryptic encounter on the book’s rectos. The versos present a text, in both Portuguese and English, which questions humanity’s place in the universe, and whether we can ever come to know it through language. ERRATA is a collaboration between writer David Soares and artist Nuno Moreira, whose background in filmmaking informs the book’s style. The book grounds the arcane topic through jumps in scale, back and forth from the cosmological to the individual and embodied. The reader is further engaged, even implicated, by the book’s self-reflexive bibliographic content and the point-of-view photography. The artists remind the reader that language and books have long been fruitful yet frustrating tools with which to grapple with life’s big questions. ERRATA also demonstrates that artists’ books can be capable contributors to this age-old quest.ERRATA is at its best when the text and image support one another, letting the reader make meaning from the parallels and juxtapositions. The single image with text in it – in which the book’s title is revealed – is heavy-handed compared to the rest of the work, which is open to alternate interpretations and even simultaneous contradictions.
ERRATA is about the quest/ions more than answers. Through its self-reflexivity, the book connects art to this fundamental human pursuit of understanding. It also uses the human-scaled intimacy of the book as a medium to powerfully play with the reader’s sense of scale. Voice, heart, hands and eyes are at once human and otherworldly in Soares’ prose. They also reinforce the inescapable role of language in forming our understanding of the cosmos. Letters, words and pages – the book is a shapeshifting metaphor in ERRATA, giving the reader not a sense of closure, but connection to a timeless inquiry. For all its connotations of truth and authority, the book reminds the reader that all is not as it seems. The photography places the reader in multiple points of view, both immanent and transcendent, just as the structure encourages more than one sequence.
Moreira and Soares understand that the book is effective both as a metaphor and as a medium. The strength of ERRATA is that it trades on the book as a symbol – creation, religion, authority, the body – even as it eschews the formulaic familiarity that makes such references possible. It exudes book-ness, but operates cinematically. It establishes a power dynamic with the reader, only to change that relationship repeatedly throughout the reading experience. It promises an exploration of the universe, and delivers a treatise on the book itself. The artists approach the book almost like tactical media, critiquing the form while harnessing its strength. ERRATA shows why the artists’ book continues to be a generative mode for collaboration, interdisciplinarity and unanswered questions.(...)”
Artists’ Book Reviews, by Levi Sherman (click for full article)


“(...) What’s life all about? When all is reversed – the real seems fake, the fake seems real – what can we still count on? What does a reality full of errata (printed errors) look like, and how are we to function? Are we like a book, with old pages, as well as new ones, yet to come? Nuno Moreira’s latest project says that “life is like a book” – full of potential errors and unexpected twists and turns, with weighty implications. If everything functions in reverse, life becomes a printed book and the book reflects life itself. Can you read it? Can you view it? Can you stand it? And, most important of all, how do you approach it all? Can we proceed on the basis of uncertainty?
(...) Since I received this book several weeks ago, I have had it pull me back in repeatedly, and each time I am able to derive new insights. The enigmatic presentation leads to sudden constructive moments of recognition. This book has become a treasured part of my collection, just as that other object of guidance from centuries ago. (...)

The Photobook Journal, review by Gerhard Clausing (click for full article)


“(...) It is a book about a book blending perfectly photography with words. For such post-modernism, the book, the physical book, is entirely the thing existing on its own terms. I wouldn’t be too quick to call it a photo book, but it is a book with photos. And in featuring photography by Moreria with equal prominence it is just as much about the words from author David Soares. When considering the arc of Moreria’s photo books beginning with the pure street photography showing of State of Mind… this represents perhaps the best fusion of words and conceptual photography.
This range, to use a jazz term, solidifies the chops as a complete photographer showing the individual free style capability of being able to go out in the world and shoot the street to create the content for a book, but also to think and conceive photography executing in a controlled space.

In actually looking at the photos, I couldn’t help but notice cinematic undertones. This could have very well been a silent film in the vein of a René Clair or Jean Cocteau through its atmosphere.
However with the rigid postering of Moreira’s subjects and alternation in close ups of objects and bodily extremities it carries the spirit of Robert Bresson and in particular his 1959 film, Pickpocket. Much like the former directors, the photos are dreamlike as the concept actually stemmed from one and was shot immediately thereafter. However, Errata through its own context to the words of Soares and choice of medium and execution remains distinctive.(...)”

Japan Camera Hunter, review by Jesse Freeman (click for full article)






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