Each return is unique, different in each story. The Batismo series takes us through Gleeson Paulino’s lens as he undergoes a process of unveiling and reconnection with his home country: Brazil. This reconnection begins in the Amazon. The newly arrived artist receives news of the passing of his grandfather, an emblematic man of Indigenous origin. In the first image captured after the news, the woman, with her back turned, seems to be passing through a portal as she dives into the waters of the Rio Negro.
This portal opened a new perspective for the artist. It awakened renewed feelings, rescuing his affective memories and origins in the process. Photography became the vital resource on this journey of rediscovery. The images are powerfully intuitive, yet at the same time their characters’ gestures always carry a sense of concealed symbolism.
Entering this inner world means entering a space that cherishes what is essential to life. Thus, water, as a vital resource, gains protagonism in the series as a symbol for strength of feelings, purification, healing, and renewal. In the spiritual vacuum of a world where the speed of information can be overwhelming, the individual’s action in the face of an unexpected event is what determines his ethics and, consequently, his aesthetics. The power of art in its power to regenerate and transform our worldview.
This series is an invitation to a new encounter with Brazil, through a baptism of the whole body in the mighty river that crosses this red-hot land—a land that must be recognised as sacred, deep and plural.