Hugo Figueira Brazão 

(b. 1989, Madeira Island)



In 2010 an image spotted by NASA’s Spirit rover on Mars revealed a gorilla in a small detail of a picture that the space agency shared. Due to the poor quality of the widely shared detail of this image, a huge online community became obsessed with the notion that a gorilla was in fact living on Mars.

The human eye is naturally inclined to anthropomorphize. We assemble disconnected patches of light and dark and unconsciously recognise faces or figures in rocks, trees or clouds. I am interested in how this phenomenon, that is thought to be linked to the survival skills of our ancestors, still plays a roll within a highly image mediated world and how it blurs the borders between real and fictional. This is evident in low quality images that are dispersed through the Internet and is accentuated by the opportunity one has to zoom in and out of any data at a whim with our smartphones, tablets and computers.

By collecting images from different sources and singling out and magnifying details in their backgrounds, we loose information. The objects represented are now transformed in an ambiguous, almost abstract, anomalous representation of its original form.

These images become raw material that can be reshaped into new fixed states and after existing as data, which has been widely dispersed across the globe, they become tangible again and can exist together in the same physical space. When this translation is made, they become alive again and seem to suggest an action or a function, as if they were on a stage where a performance could well happen. A trap, a game, a battle. 

Hugo Brazão (2015)