I came to the Amazon with my own childhood in mind, spent on a Dutch island in the Wadden Sea, where life was marked by seasonal cycles, the rhythm of the tides, and the phases of the moon. It has influenced my artistic practice, for which I increasingly draw from the concept of the ‘éphémère’, which implies that humanity is intricately interwoven with the entire web of life, existence is transient, and the earth considered a regenerative source. Being surrounded by the endlessly rich and complex organism that is the Amazon, I discovered that when we look at nature, it mirrors our way of looking. In the silent dialogue with nature that ensued, my body calmed down and arrived at a more primal balance. I felt inspired by the words of the artist Roberto Evangelista: “The Amazon is the last laboratory properly equipped for the reunion of mankind with itself, a place where nature still invites reflection.”
suichū no kaba ga moemasu botanyuki
A continuum is a living thing. It traces the path of a planet traveling around its sun: it heats up and cools down. There exists a relationship between water and fire. When water is away from heat, it cools. A cluster of snowflakes is an animal of the earth. It is also snow and a flower, too. A horse gets fired up. When this occurs, it is enough to melt the snow. And it is enough to set the river on fire.
—Inspired by Martin Rock & Joe Pan’s experimental translations of Nenten Tsubouchi’s modern Haiku; Asymptote, Issue Jan. 2016.
The photographic work of Paul Cupido revolves around the principle of Mu: a philosophical concept that could be translated as “does not have,” but is equally open to countless interpretations. Mu can be considered a void, albeit one that holds potential. The idea of Mu goes beyond having to choose. Searching for Mu — taking shape in photographs, film clips, sound and folded paper — is tantamount to a quest.