Found Not Taken
Edson Chagas - 6 June to 3 August 2014
Found Not Taken is an ongoing series of photographs of objects found on the streets of Luanda, Angola, Newport, Wales and London, UK; cities where the artist has lived and worked. The project stems from Chagas' interest in cities and what they tell us about contemporary consumer habits. The artist is particularly concerned about increased patterns of consumerism in his hometown. Since the end of the civil war in 2002, Angola’s economy has become the fastest growing in Africa and the sudden influx of wealth is rapidly transforming its capital, Luanda.
Found Not Taken is a catalogue of unwanted, abandoned things, which highlights the excess of a growing consumer culture, but it is not purely a documentary project. Sometimes the artist repositions objects to produce new compositional arrangements. These found objects are recycled into a new relationship with their environment and into the realm of discourse and ideas. Chagas’ work is a subtle, often playful intervention. The aesthetic is minimal, almost abstract – with simple forms and the surface texture of the city rendered in great detail. At the same time, the relationship between object and context is central to the meaning of the work, and the new compositions that he creates – both in the actual city and in the form of an image – suggest other possible narratives and different ways of reading and experiencing the city.
Edson Chagas lives and works in Luanda, Angola. After completing a degree in Photojournalism at the London College of Communication, he studied Documentary Photography at the University of Wales in Newport. His work was presented in the first pavilion of Angola at the 55th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia in 2013, which won the prestigious Golden Lion Award for the Best National Participation.Other exhibition highlights include participation in the 2nd Luanda Triennial, Angola, 2010; SP-Arte 2011, São Paulo, Brazil; the MABAXA project in Luanda, Angola and RAVY – Rencontre d’Arts Visuels, in Yaoundé, Cameroon, both in 2012. In 2011 he also took part in a workshop in Ethiopia, invited by the German organisation GIZ – Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, which culminated in various exhibitions, in 2012 at the Rheinisches Landesmuseum in Bonn, Germany, the National Museum of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa and later in Angola. Chagas combines his artistic work with the job of image editor for the Angolan newspaper Expansão.
Curator’s Tour | Friday 13 June, 1pm
Creative Writing Workshop | Saturday 21 June | 2pm - 4pm
This workshop uses the Found Not Taken exhibition as the starting point for a series of creative writing exercises. The workshop is facilitated by Belfast based writer and playwright Emily Dedakis
Found Not Taken: A Response | Saturday 26 July | 12pm – 4pm
During this workshop photographers will have the opportunity to explore the concept and methods behind the work of Edson Chagas by making images in response to the exhibition. Participants will receive a presentation and guided tour of the exhibition before setting out on a group photo-walk, exploring and making interventions within the landscape of the city, before returning to the BX studio to upload, share and discuss the work. Spaces are limited to 8 and participants must bring and have a working knowledge of a digital camera.
Booking: For more information on any of these events or to reserve a place contact or T:+44 (0) 2890 230965
This exhibition has been generously supported by Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council and the Department of Social Development. In addition to this, we would like to thank the Galleria Apalazzo, Italy for their assistance in organising this exhibition.