About

About · photographer, work process, statement, biographical note, education, experimental process, collaborative work & more · contact · site · How it all fits together · about portrait by Henrique Calvet · mp
About·portrait by Henrique Calvet

Miguel Proença (1963) is a Lisbon, Portugal born photographer. Currently based in Portugal (about Lisbon and Tavira) where he works and studies. Photographic work is frequently initiated from a documentary/ reportage standpoint and undergoes an “estrangement” process. This path frequently accesses formalist and surrealist aesthetics. Recent work has drawn on disciplines other than photography. These include painting, sculpture, video, sound and music in a collaborative approach to the creative process. 

Commissioned work has concentrated and specialised over the last decade on the reproduction of works of art. Other commission work has been in various specialty areas namely architecture, environmental portrait, landscape for editorial and other purposes. Formats used include digital and analogical black and white large formats. Samples of this commissioned work can be found in the National Library (Portugal) archives. 

Biographical note

The first conscientious contacts with photography dates to the 1970s in the UK, practicing and studying photography, first at Clayesmore School (Dorset, UK) and subsequently on scholarship at the Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design (1979-80). Technical skills were furthered at the Instituto Português de Fotografia (1981-83). During the 1998-2001 period continuing studies included documentary photography with Leonardo Brogioni, and photographic language and theory with Emilio de Tullio and Roberto Signorini in Milan, at the John Kaverdash School and at the Círcolo Filológico Milanese. While in Milan work concentrated on street photography for the covers of Free Milano Magazine (2000-01). Other work during this time included Fiera de Sinegallia (1998-1999), Arts and Traps (1999-2000) and the beginning of Alqueva Dam work (2000-2004), with the latter two, more political statements, also published as photo books.

Currently continues a formal theoretical development route, started with the conclusion of a postgraduate degree in Photographic Studies (IADE, 2003-05). This was followed by a master’s degree in Art History at the Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas (FCHS) of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa [dissertation tittle: “Fernando Lemos: “Eu sou a fotografia”” (Fernando Lemos: “I am photography”) supervised by Joana Cunha Leal and Margarida Acciaiuoli]. Currently working on a doctoral thesis at the Faculdade de Belas Artes (U. Lisboa, 2010–) on environmental landscape photography.

Environmental landscape definition

With formal training and practise in agronomy, soil science and farming systems research and extension(BSc University of Florida, 1989), photographic work taps into this body of knowledge, where social issues and pressures resulting from environmental changes serve to ground and orient the construction of documental work. The integration of this life/social sciences training has additionally taken the author towards the idea of an environmental landscape definition. This idea-in-progress (ie environmental landscape definition) currently serves to formulate questions about research project work, particularly in his native country, Portugal, where the beginning of oil drilling and fracking are today (2018) a very real risk due to government policies.

Contact

miguelproenca@me.com

Site

This site is dedicated to photo work, from long term documental and environmental portrait, landscape and more experimental work. The experimental work is in areas such as portrait, environmental landscape definition, cityscape, multimedia and reportage. It is also dedicated to showing work in a portfolio format as a photographer, clearly different from printed versions of the work. Commission work is available upon request.

mp · 2018.


Miguel Proença photographer · mp

Miguel Proença · photo work

A selection of recent and past author photo work by photographer Miguel Proença.

news

News about ongoing activities (work, exhibitions, workshops, conferences and others, periodically updated).

publications

A selection of publications, more info on the about page.

 about

contact and about page, biographical note and other info.

pt ‣ · mp

portuguese version of this entry/versão portuguesa desta entrada.

Collaborative landscape page – paisagem estranha entranha

Medusa – work in progress

Medusa – work in progress, is an ongoing piece originally based on a documentary photography tradition. The initial version of Medusa was publicly screened in September 2010 with the tittle Who’s a jellyfish in multimedia format. The piece participated in a London presentation of  the ASA Collective. In this initial version “Medusa – work in progress” was based on the concept of a Jellyfish/Medusa, that of following sea currents and only capable of nourishing itself from what is contacted during its meanderings/wanderings. Continue reading “Medusa – work in progress”

Estranged trees · series

Estranged Trees series

Estranged Trees is about creating (en)strange(d) images of trees, rendered strange, using traditional black and white photography practices. The aim is to question our colonising relationship with nature and landscape, where, to simplify natural complexity, we impose our patterns. These contribute towards creating a global landscape type, that taken to its last instance becomes a non-landscape, or a non-place. Through the gradual appearance of its shadow, the tree is here reduced to a simplified, iconic and manipulable object; a route that the work follows on, that end in the inversion of the tree shadow.

During the work, tight framing was used, in order to explicit on one hand, the complexity and density of nature (even nature that appears static) and on the other, to imply and grow on the referred colonising relationship. This implied relationship moves to an explicit one with the appearance of the tree shadow, an easily manipulable graphic symbol, that in the last photograph is turned upside down.

Continue reading “Estranged trees · series”

Luísa Ferreira – “In search of another body”, Photography, São Brás, until Oct. 2014

In search of another body (À procura de um outro corpo) installation by photorapher Luisa Ferreira · São Brás · view  · mp
View of the installation component of “À procura de um outro corpo”, by photographer Luísa Ferreira
À PROCURA DE UM OUTRO CORPO (“In search of another body” [free translation]) is a surprising photography exhibition that resulted from the photographer’s contact (in 1992) with a collection of sculptures by two local artists, Rosalina Passos e Joaquim Passos, active during the 20th century.
 
The photographs capture the artistic impulse of the pieces, a notable combination of contemplation, expression and torment. They are exhibited in two interior locations in São Brás (see below for details), joined by a short walk where an exterior installation with photographs accompanies the viewer though lesser known public town spaces. The opening weekend (Aug.1-3) installation was also walked by a mysterious cloaked female figure. Overall, amazing!
 
Texts and production by Graça Passos, the exhibiti will be on display until October.
 
 Locations:
Antiga Farmácia Passos, Rua Gago Coutinho, 53 
 
Museu do Trajo, Rua Dr. José Dias Sancho, 61
São Brás de Alportel
 
 

Cut, shuffle, deal

Cut, shuffle, deal is the name of this work, part of Emergir – identity specific, an installation/exhibition presented by Maria Tomás (installation), Miguel Proença (multimedia), and Cristina Azevedo Tavares (curator)  at the Casa dos Gessos do  Museu Militar de Lisboa ( Plaster House of the Lisbon Military Museum).

This is an installation – an ambience that offers the viewer a different visual and aesthetic experience of the Casa dos Gessos and its works, keeping untouched the statue of D. José I, in the sense that its role as a gigantic pivot point, imposed by its monumental presence occupying the centre of the building, is untouched.

Focusing on the D. José I piece, Miguel Proença works to deconstruct the “urban” gaze through the photographs taken at the Terreiro do Paço square of the bronze statue of D. José I referencing the master plaster from which it was cast.  He virtually places it in an impossible situation; in the Casa dos Gessos, and as such it once again dialogues with the other sculptures in a relation of proximity, through the grid of a chess board that evokes the bi-coloured floor of the room.  It thus subverts the reading of this magnificent piece by Machado de Castro, polemical in its time, the master plaster is also extraordinary, as is the involved foundry work.

The room, only periodically opened to the public, exerts a fascination on those that enter it, be it the scale of the sculptures in relation to the building, be it the details that we can still observe after the casting to bronze, as by the group of pieces and the visual relationships that we can establish between them.” (Cristina Azevedo Tavares, curator, November, 2013, translated).

Emergir – identity specific and Cut, shuffle, deal was open to the public, from October 8th 2013 at the Casa dos Gessos,  at Campo de Santa Clara, nº 62, in the vicinity of the  National Pantheon, in Lisbon.

Arts & Traps from Earth to Sea

Arts & Traps from Earth to Sea

Arts & Traps from earth to sea (Artes & Artimanhas da terra para o mar)

2000, Photo book (B&W), bilingual (pt/en), with Raquel Delgado Martins (text), design by Patrícia Proença.

Casa das Artes de Tavira, 2000.

A selection of works and additional information on the Publications page.