cielo : Augusto da Silva
When I made Road Works in July 1997, in the Picos de Europa, I discovered an unsurfaced road that led me to wonder whether it would be possible to cross the Iberian Peninsula without driving on asphalt. Over the following years I travelled around Spain looking for routes that I recorded on a GPS device, on which I could see the asphalt roads that I was trying to avoid, while searching in the landscape for the unsurfaced roads that I imagined possible to exist. I left Cádiz early in the morning on the 19th December 2007, accompanied by my dog Jet, and we travelled around 3,000 miles until our journey was blocked by snow, on the 7th of January 2008, near Curavacas (Montaña Palentina), close to the spot where the idea had occurred ten years before. The journey was made from south to north, in a four-wheel drive vehicle, in which I adapted a camera that allowed me to photograph while driving, at an average speed of 25 miles per hour. From a total of 10,131 photographs, I chose 5,148 to be projected as a video on a large screen, in a random and endless sequence, to the sound of live spanish radio stations, broadcasted via the internet. Iberia was presented for the first time at Dead End / An Essay on Optimism, a solo exhibition at the Museu de Serralves, in Porto, in 2009. The 91 photographs of Cielo were chosen from Iberia and sequenced in order to be published in a book that still does not exist. I did it because I now feel the need to contemplate these images for an indefinite period of time, and in silence. In doing so, I identify even more with the people and animals that appear at the roadside, and for whom I feel a particular affection.
Augusto Alves da Silva