Principium 2019 Pedro Alves da Veiga Category: Visual Art


Principium was inspired by the strange relationship we have with our bodies: while idolizing and relentlessly photographing the gym-sculpted, diet-shaped, more or less photoshoped exterior, we are still very uncomfortable around visions of its insides, nurtured by cinema and literature genres that feed upon gore and horror. The dead body, as a whole, is the subject of ritual and reverence, but all parts that are extracted from the living body are considered to be hazardous or toxic waste, and are disposed of accordingly, without a second thought. Principium was also heavily influenced by the iconography of the holy and supernatural, especially since it departs from illustrations of the dead, from anatomical compendia of centuries past, and brings them into surreal settings where they revel in rapture. Principium uses photos of moving, agitated waters, frozen into stillness frozen in a fraction of second by the author’s camera, and used as a stage for actors traveling in time, from an analog to a digital world, from ancient medical, anatomical and natural sciences compendia, dating back to the 16th century, to the bright LED screens of the 21st century, draped in mystical tattoos and halos, covered with fauna and flora. Principium summarizes the concept of life eternal, as stated by Edvard Munch: “From my rotting body, flowers shall grow and I am in them and that is eternity”. Principium is a series of 27 pieces, each of them containing the Latin (or Greek) text of its own principle (Principium).