The collaborative photo series Boa Noite Povo by Magnum photographer Cristina de Middel and artist Bruno Morais explores the extremes of human life, mythology, and political sentiment through depictions of nature. The project is set in Bahia, Brazil, and revolves around both wild and domestic animals captured within the artists’ home and in the surrounding Mata Atlântica jungle. These animal subjects are presented alongside various interventions, including printed collages, archival photographs, mirrored surfaces, and household objects. Through these experimental elements, the series invites viewers to question and reconsider their understanding of photographic representation.
De Middel and Morais have been captivated by the wildlife in the region since 2017, and their work delves into the definition of nature and culture within the current political and economic climate.
The creative process behind Boa Noite Povo is characterized by experimentation, with the artists utilizing their home as a backdrop filled with books, objects, old photos, and other materials. By intensifying the interactions between animals, objects, and vegetation, the artists document and reflect upon the inherent tension between human presence and the natural environment.
The project incorporates diverse visual aspects, ranging from nature photography and staged still lifes to archival images and symbolic objects. These elements emerged organically through the artists’ experimental exploration, rather than adhering to a structured conceptual framework.
Additionally, the critical perspective provided by the text written by Brazilian philosopher Fabiano Lemos lights on the potential superficiality and hypocrisy in human-nature relationships, particularly when confronted with political and economic power.
Overall, Boa Noite Povo is a visually compelling and conceptually rich project that examines the complex relationship between nature, culture, and political dynamics. It invites viewers to question established beliefs, consider ancestral knowledge, and reflect on the current state of our environment and society.