Brazil: Livros de Safra (2016). Harback. Signed.
Brazilian journalist and photographer Sérgio Poroger describes landscapes and places that emanate musicality, history and emotion in this photographic book about the influence of music styles in the Southeastern USA.
Images can generate sounds, albeit imaginary ones. Based on this, Brazilian
photographer and journalist Sérgio Poroger journeyed through the southeastern United
States in December 2014, putting together a collection of photographs now available in
Cold Hot, sponsored by the Lafayette Convention and Visitor Center and other
supporters. This coming February 24 at the Lemuria Bookstore in Jackson, Sérgio will
discuss his work and explain the trip he took to gather images and ideas for this work of
art. The book tells the story of the region, and the 66 images give visual understanding.
The U.S. launch begins with 2 events in New Orleans on February 21 and continues
with 3 events in Lafayette, Louisiana over two days February 22 and 23. On Friday
February 24 the tour travels to Jackson, Mississippi, followed by Clarksdale, Mississippi
on Saturday February 25. Sérgio travels to Tennessee for the second week of touring to
have launches in Memphis on February 27 and 28, Nashville on March 1 and
Chattanooga on Thursday March 2. The tour finishes in Atlanta on Friday and Saturday
March 3 and 4.
“I researched the region for almost two years simply because of my desire to
photograph the region’s musicality. However, I was surprised to find a region that
stands apart from the rest of the United States, where music has such a major influence
on the landscapes, architecture and customs of local residents, who are also different –
they love to talk, they love to have conversations and they are happy and laid back.
Basically, this is a place where everything becomes music!”, explains Poroger. In
addition to the photographs, Poroger wrote an introduction to the book and brief
comments that weave the images together.
Poroger travelled over 3000 kilometers through the states of Georgia, Tennessee,
Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, journeying along the legendary Blues Highway, Route
61, passing through landscapes that alternated between humble countryside lined with
farmlands and opulent cities crowned with skyscrapers, but all with a common theme:
the ever-present musicality. Few regions of the country offer such musical diversity,
from old, sacred blues to country, branching through classic jazz and 50’s rock and roll.
The route reflects that diversity: in Nashville, the Country Music Hall of Fame is a
mandatory destination for pilgrims, as is Wild Bill’s, the wonderful show venue in the
Memphis suburbs, which discovered, among others, a young man called Elvis Presley.
Or the crossroads where routes 61 and 49 meet, in Clarksdale, Mississippi, where blues
legend Robert Johnson supposedly made his famous pact with the devil, now a
mandatory part of any music history. And the New Orleans Preservation Hall,
legendary temple to traditional jazz.
All of this has been recorded in Cold Hot, which the book’s curator, Eder Chiodetto, who
is one of the icons of Brazilian photographic curatorship, has compared to “the letters
that recall the heroic excursions of itinerant photographers, who took us to unknown
places, revealing ambiences, intimacies and cultures, drawing back the curtain to see
behind the scenes”. And why this title? Chiodetto says: “Breaking away from chronology
and geography, the images are connected through their composition, through the
interplay of light and color, through the recurring references and tonalities that reveal
extreme warmth or a certain coldness, metaphorically reflecting the region’s
ambivalence, which oscillates between periods of intense heat and harsh cold.”
The book also includes a presentation by author and music critic Carlos Calado, who
defines it as an imaginary soundtrack created by the expressive images. “To feel this
music, you do not need to have personally visited the many cities in the Southern
United States that he photographed during visits to bars, clubs, cafes, restaurants,
recording studios and museums. This silent music can even be seen in the images that
Sergio’s lenses captured of the streets”, said Calado.