Maurício de Paiva
Maurício is a documentary photographer from São Paulo, who has been researching the Amazon basin for 12 years. His essays present the lifeways of traditional populations with an emphasis on the pre-cabralian archaeology, through the register of surrounding archaeological sites. He is a regular collaborator with National Geographic Brazil, with more than a dozen articles published.
I met Maurício in 2004, when I was the Art Director for National and did the photo editing and the layout of his first photo journalistic report for the magazine. His unique narrative style is aligned with the scientific rigor of the information, obtained through his work with researchers (archaeologists, anthropologists, biologists, ethnographers, etc), stood out, but what really impressed me was his documentation of the daily life of riverine populations, in carefully developed images. Needless to say, when invited, I gladly accepted to help produce an exhibition at Sesc Itaquera, in São Paulo, editing the images, doing the expographic design and catalogue. The exhibition would be based on the book Futebol na Amazônia – Imagem e Alarido, in which Maurício documents futelama (literally, mud soccer), soccer played in villages of the Atlantic Amazon, on mud fields at low tide.
With more than 100 print in his archive at hand, we looked for sub-themes that were representative of the photographer’s body of work: archaeological sites in Acre, with geoglyphs remitting to the soccer field; the recent story of the abandoned factories at the end of the rubber cycle (of which the ball is made); the movement of the body/sport in the daily life of the fishermen. Within each theme we arranged the images in diptychs and tetraptychs, using color as the unifying element – signature characteristic of the photographer – and the actions of the characters.
Once the 31 images for the exhibition were chosen, I focused on the design of the title and the walls. I chose a heavy, serif typeface font, which resonates with the numbers on the soccer jerseys. The resource of applying phrases on the walls came from my experience in design with magazines and reinforces the concept of a group of images, imparting another level of meaning.
The exhibition Alaridos - jogo dos elementos showed from January to May, 2015, and was well attended .
See the article about the exhibition on the National Geographic Brasil site.