My practice as an artist and video-maker attempts to investigate notions of identity, language, boundary, otherness, exile and displacement. I have explored such concepts in many different ways, by shifting from material to more psychological levels, and from individual to cultural points of view.

Using strategies of group participation and performance, I address more specific issues related to identity and cultural formation, limits of personal and social spaces, and the definition of physical and mental territory. Coming from a discursive and contextual practice, I focus on the importance of collaboration and dialogue. I often need to bring others into the process, which enunciates a desire to dissolve barriers between artist and subject, reducing possibly the void between artwork and viewer.

Frontiers between fiction and reality, video art and documentary, are purposely left open and undefined, thus resisting conventional categorizations. The approach follows quite often an ethnographic mode that made me recently see this activity as a possible video-essay and visual anthropology; an anthropological gaze that has always intrigued and fascinated me, as a tool for constant observation and both internal and external critical analysis. My cinematography tends to incorporate dislocation as a visual element, and I proceed fragmenting the body in several landscapes: the other is both staged and found, in intimate and confessional tones.

Video is particularly intriguing to me as a means of rethinking representation. Nevertheless, my goals are not based primarily on technology itself: rather, the moving image allows me to work with and through time, and therefore to not be limited to one single image or one single object. It opens up the possibility to conceptualize the work in a different manner. As many other artists, I have found in this medium a solid basis for reflection and communication. Gilles Deleuze had already pointed out that “the question is no longer: does the cinema give us the illusion of the world?, but how does the cinema restore our belief in the world?”.

Furthermore, I find my artwork in the intersection of the personal with the political, the emotional with the social, the ethical with the aesthetical. It certainly comes from the belief that art redefines itself at each given moment, by using its potential for awareness, confrontation and transformation.












   josé carlos teixeira