Helena Almeida

PRT (1934). Lives and works in Lisbon.


2010. Photography Gelatin print, 125 x 135 cm c/u / each
2010. Video, b/w, sound.18’8’’

Despite always appearing before the camera, Helena Almeida maintains that her images are not self-portraits.The artist takes on meticulously choreographed situations and manipulates the videos and drawings to create complex visual compositions that reflect on space and time. Initially her videos and drawings played the part of studies for the photographs, but these have now gained autonomy and legitimacy as an art form in themselves. They pose questions about artistic practice, achievement, and the possibilities for the production of culture in contemporary society. Untitled is a series that includes a group of photographs and one video, the result of a year of work.

The video is about a route that the artist and her husband traverse through their studio with their legs tied with wire. It is a celebration of love but also of effort, as the difficulty of moving against each other is reflected and the distance covered becomes an eternal road to Calvary. The artist looks at adverse human relations in a modern context through the impossibility of liberation, the sharing of a limited space, and the sacrifice of both bodies. These relationships are limited by external conditions, but even more so by internal ones that have to do with psychological, intimate problems that the subject inflicts on himself, as a kind of self-flagellation. The viewer, therefore, is forced to think about his own human condition, his limits and possibilities.