Trouble in Paradise, 2022 — 2024

Gliclée print on baryta paper;
30 x 135 cm ; 30 x 90 cm ; 30 x 90 cm ; 60 x 90 cm
[ 30 x 45 cm, 60 x 90 cm ]

3 + 1 AP

During the OASIS residency in the Azores, Bragança Gil delved into the intricate connections and uneasy disjunctures between the operations of tourism and military industry on the islands. The base of Lajes on Terceira became a key site of investigation, within this region in the middle of the Atlantic, portraying a dystopia where violence and tourism coexist. Analogous to a film script, or fragmented visual essay, the viewer is guided through the ramifications of the artist's investigative time-based process. Potential cracks and fissures in our perception are unearthed through deconstruction of text, image and environment.

The series unfolds between different vectors of time and place, with atmospheric stills that operate at an intersection between documentary and fiction, micro and macro. While certain poetics of stillness and silence are celebrated, through careful image layering and refiguring of landscape, we are compelled to delve into a deeper socio-political context, to question the position of observer and observed. The foundations of a decaying ruin are caught sinking between land and sky, the face of an abandoned concrete edifice stares down at us, a knot of dusty skeletal roots pull against the earth. If images can serve as tools of propaganda and violence aligning with political agendas, tourism reaches its zenith in the wake of globalization.

By stripping away the familiar pictorial qualities of the extensive tourist imagery that is intrinsically tied to our associations with the islands – the recognizable and scenic viewpoints, saturated colour and somewhat blinding bright light - Bragança Gil defamiliarizes these places and quietly re-directs our gaze. His images collapse the pretense of an intact, verdant ‘paradise’ and open up new perspectives on underlying systems of surveillance and control.

— Carolina Trigueiros & Alexander Caspari, 2024 [ Excerpt ]

︎︎︎ Press Release [ .PDF; 0.58KB; ENG ]

Project stemming from the A4: OASIS residency in the Açores, taken in 2022; This project is a visual essay exploring contrasting tones between wilderness and control, in the islands of Terceira and São Miguel. 

Residency curated by Virgilio Ferreira & Carine Dolek

With the Support of