Orlando da Rosa Farya
Galerie weisser elefant, Berlin, February 23 - March 20

Orlando da Rosa Farya, A Flâneur in Berlin

Since 1999 Orlando Farya has been wandering through Berlin. As a certain tradition, he follows-up the evolution of the city.
In the beginning, Orlando arrived as a foreign observer. His images act as travel documentation or as diary entries. After several confrontations with this city, his shape has been transformed into part of this scenery as a silent protagonist. Only in the year 2006, Orlando officially participated in the cultural program of Brazil's Ministry of Culture in Berlin, during the Soccer World Cup. His photos were shown for the first time in Berlin in the exhibition series entitled "Brazil+Berlin" at Galerie weisser elephant. In that context, he presented Brazilian visions of simple and abandoned places, but accompanied by a marked poetic feeling. They satisfied one's nostalgia for quietude and coziness. The images were printed in large formats on PVC sheets. The arrangement of the works was intentionally placed on the access outer wall to the gallery building – a red-brick wall which has its own niches, making the photos incorporated into the scene as if they were in a frame. To this day those works are on show, to this day they attract the visitors' attention and are constantly photographed – they have been incorporated as a characteristic of the city.
In 2008, Orlando Farya returns to Galerie weisser elephant in an individual exhibition. As the theme of his work, this time he presents photos about Berlin in a collection of images produced in the period 1999 – 2006. The result is a documentary of the city evolution or of the spirit of that time. The protagonists are anonymous people. What Orlando Farya produced is a representative selection of isolated moments detached from a temporal dynamic. The seasons of the year are marked by typical scenes of winter or of summer. The representations seem concentrated and soft; the daily chaos is not noticed, even though daily life is focused as a central theme. The observer doesn't get to feel the photographer's invasive presence in the least. In the contemplation of the several images, the exhibition visitor comes across a characteristic – a non-conventional perspective, which is there to mark certain details and to place them in the foreground. Well-defined lines, cuts, and geometric forms emerge in great familiarity with constructivism. The colors strong hue is a soft treatment to the eye during these winter months in Berlin, the period in which such images experience their debut.

Tereza de Arruda, curator

It's natural to search in the stranger for something of yourself: in other people your twin soul, in foreign countries a familiar way of life. When Orlando da Rosa Farya was in Berlin during the Soccer World Cup, he amazingly assimilated only contexts which had absolutely no relation with the events published in the media. Probably only for that reason he could experience something personal, for he saw the city without any makeup and, further, interpreted it in his own style. In this way, the old dame Berlin appears in his images suddenly accompanied by a Brazilian mood, since people are definitely his greatest interest and, more specifically, people of his own generation. So his theme cycle is closed: the city as a possible, and not only a fictitious, example of successful globalization. The artist's confident disposition breathes in each one of his works; his motivation is the pulsing of human reason.
As at that time he was constantly on the move, we could only meet occasionally. But those moments were intense, fully pragmatic, and at the same time marked by great enthusiasm. After a farewell, the memory keeps a bunch of images, sometimes only one single feeling. As for Orlando, I was left with the certainty to have met a strong-willed, charming person. In other words: a nice guy!

Ralf Bartholomaeus

Galerie weisser elefant
Auguststrasse 21, 10117 Berlin
Exhibition period: February 23 - March 20