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Foam exhibits the monumental and mysterious work of Brazilian artist Sofia Borges
White Charcoal, 2016 © Sofia Borges.


AMSTERDAM.- Black Chalk and White Charcoal or the Myth of the Absent Matter is an exhibition of the monumental and mysterious work of Brazilian Sofia Borges (b. Ribeirão Preto, 1984). In her own intuitive manner, Borges photographs paintings, drawings, sculptures, maps, fossils, stuffed animals and dioramas, all of which are models of reality that we use as ways of trying to get a grip on the world around us and, by doing so, to give it meaning.

Borges photographs details and carefully selects the angles from which she makes her photographs. The objects portrayed are freed from their specific meaning, so that they stand by themselves. As a result these are not documentary records but part of a poetic, surreal and somewhat gloomy whole. Myths, fabulous creatures and philosophical questions about representation, mimicry and imitation play a major part in her work.

Led by her interest in capturing objects by taking photographs of them, and photography’s claim to truth, Borges investigates intuitively what representation is and what a photograph can be. She strives to show that even photography, a medium bound up with reality by definition, can let go of reality, as happens in painting or sculpture. One way in which she does this is by photographing objects along with their mirror image. She also duplicates existing photos by photographing them again, creating new work that builds on work that already exists.

Black Chalk and White Charcoal or the Myth of the Absent Matter invites us to think about how close we can come to history, to what is portrayed in a photograph, and therefore to the reality that came before that photograph. Borges tries to capture time and the connection between past and present by means of photography, and in doing so she poses the question of just what reality is.

Sofia Borges studied Visual Arts at the Universidade de São Paulo. With The Swamp, published last spring, she won the MACK First Book Award. In it, she compares the investigation from which her work flows to wandering through deep marshland. She has had various solo exhibitions.

Foam 3h is a project space where young artists and photographers are invited by Foam’s curators to present their first solo museum exhibition. They are challenged to experiment, surprise and push the limits of photography.






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