"The Maestro", from the series Voyage through the Fantastic, by Boris Kossoy.

In the 1970s, characters, mannequins, strange figures appeared in Boris Kossoy's photographs. Conducting a silent symphony in a cemetery, on the bend of a road, peering at us from behind a window. The photographs were gathered in a book “Voyage for the fantastic”. 50 years later the book is republished, accompanied by a new volume, with critical texts. But not only. Known for his critical texts on photography that helped us to understand the processes, the codes, the symbology of the images, but above all to interpret these messages within the story, Boris Kossoy has gradually shown his photographer side, his eye that searches the streets, everyday life. The mannequins, the staging so clear in the photos from the 1970s, opened space for real characters that he bumps into in his wanderings, in his travels. 

In Fortaleza, at the Photography Museum, an exhibition permeates this photographic journey. Curated by Diogenes Moura, 92 photographs, some unpublished, present this trajectory. “Estranhamentos”, it is with this title that the photos are presented, arranged on the walls of the museum, creating an imagery discourse.

For Boris, his photographs, inserted in what was called in Latin America as “fantastic realism”, are vestiges of an unusual that we find on the streets: “These are photographs that I define as documentary, but with different approaches”. They are not, as 50 years ago, invented or staged images are found images: “My characters left the stage and I went to the streets”, comments Boris. Diógenes Moura writes in the exhibition text: “Estrangement tells us about the next moment, even if this moment is in the past. Search”.

In the exhibition, under the curator's watchful eye, the authorial force is clear: “I think of images from other images, from imagination. Images that have layers of depth, images that are anchored in the senses of the culture. Images that are close to literature, theater and cinema”, adds Boris.

But who inspires the theorist, the historian? “Without a doubt, I have a great connection with literature, like Edgar Allan Poe, Julio Cortázar, Jorge Luis Borges, Gabriel García Marquez, but also filmmakers like Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick”. Images and figures of speech that were – and are – kept in our imagination, which create our repertoire, combined with his reflection on the image, ended up creating this perception of the world that he pursues: “I have always sought in photographs the dichotomy between the apparent and the hidden data of the image. The theorist and the photographer mingle. My images led me to the theoretical thinking that led me to make my photographs”. And it is in this intertwining that Boris' production emerges: “It's never just an image. Photos of him are a reflection of what he is, of the entire repertoire of this intelligent man with a very peculiar worldview. Everything Boris produces, everything he says, photographs or writes are his reflections. The result of his words is the image and the continuation of that image is the printed word. So, it's always one thing inside the other”, emphasizes Diogenes Moura. 

At 81 years old, Boris Kossoy remains restless and full of projects, which he refuses to talk about. So, we can only wait.

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