WE’VE BEEN FIGHTING OVER ROTTEN POTATOES
BY MARIA BEGASSE
Maria Begasse was born in Oporto in 1982. From early on she showed interest in the area of communication, having started her studies in a vocational school, in graphic arts. At university she embarked on a more dynamic field of comunication, in the area of audiovisuals, having complemented her studies with a master's degree in photography, in London. Since 2012 she has been a freelancer in photography focusing her eye mainly in architecture and interior photography and on live music photography. In addition to her commercial work, she produces conceptual work that balances between the abstract and the concrete. She has exhibited collectively and individually, both in England and Portugal. Won the Audience Award in the Black and White 2015 Festival, with the We’ve been fighting over rotten potatoes work.
'We've been fighting over rotten potatoes' is a series of 11 pictures that at first sight recreate images of war, supported by the drama of black and white and the contrast of light/shadow, but actually they are referring to the manipulation and creation of illusion.
These images have as reference iconic photographs of the 20th century (for example, Joe Rosenthal’s picture - Raising the flag on Iwo Jima, 1945, WWII) that even today maintains a universality and timelessness that raises disturbing questions about human behavior, since the beginning of humanity until nowadays — the current crisis of values deeply interconnected with the financial crisis and with the European policies of austerity. This work is from 2013, a dramatic year in the Portuguese society and other European partners, in that human values are beginning to be strongly sidelined in favour of the exploitation of numbers.
Focusing on the interaction of little toy soldiers of make-believe games in a field of dirt in that old potatoes simulate hills and trees ravaged by fire, this series of images result in a game of light/shadow and perspective, which deludes the eye by mimicking a real battle field.
In the production of the photographed scenarios lies the key to the illusion that the title itself refers to — what seems important, inevitable, the only possible reality, has behind it other orchestrated motivations.
Our aim is to disseminate and bring to light the work of emerging or young photographers.