Sofia Borges
Black Chalk and White Charcoal or the Myth of the Absent Matter is an exhibition of the monumental and mysterious work of Brazilian artist Sofia Borges (b. Ribeirão Preto, 1984).

In her own intuitive manner, Borges photographs paintings, drawings, sculptures, maps, fossils, stuffed animals and dioramas. All of these are models of reality that we use to get a grip on the world around us and to give it meaning.

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

Photography, as a medium, is by definition bound up with reality. But even a photograph can let go of reality, just like a painting or sculpture. Borges is led by her interest in capturing objects by photographing them, and photography’s claim to truth. The artist investigates what representation is and what a photograph can be. For example, she photographs objects along with their mirror image, and 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 contemplate how close we can come to history, to what is portrayed in a photograph, and therefore to the reality that came before the 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. Her book 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.

This exhibition is made possible with support of the Gieskes-Strijbis Fund, the Van Bijlevelt Foundation and Kleurgamma.

Foam is supported by the BankGiro Loterij, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Delta Lloyd, the City of  Amsterdam, Olympus and the VandenEnde Foundation

explore connections

Sofia Borges