Unseen Platform: There appears to be quite some expressive architectural elements in your compositions. Could you tell us a bit about your influences?
Alice Quaresma: An enduring source of inspiration comes from the Neo-Concrete art movement, which was led by Brazilian artists Hélio Oiticia and Lygia Clark. They believed in the proximity between artwork and viewer, creating installations, sculptures and performances which gained further impact when people interacted with them. Their ideas always involved some sort of sensorial experience, and part of the beauty of their work was their use of geometry and lines to allow human behaviour to take centre stage in the work. These ideas were never applied to photography, which was why I became curious about repurposing them in my work.
You continue to use these elements in your latest work, Alibi. Could you introduce us to it?
Alibi investigates the limits of photography’s claim to truth and precision by integrating a new element: motion. The work features digital photo collages of overlapping images, to which I later sew coloured paper cut-outs in organic or geometrical forms. The cut-outs are only attached on one side, allowing them to move slightly, which in turn reveals and hides parts of the images beneath. I’m really interested in this duality between the stillness of the photograph and the moving parts.
Your work always carries a very clear aesthetic signature. How did this unique style first emerge?
I started applying lines and paint marks over my photographs when I became bored with the formalities of photography. I’d become too comfortable, so I felt a necessity to express myself and take risks, even if it meant failure. With this approach my work seemed to gain new life, and started to reveal my journey as an outsider in the locations I was photographing. My work depends upon the relationship I create with an image after it’s printed. Each mark I add creates room for imagination, and for the descriptive quality of the image to fade away.