Leonel Moura

Urban Times, 1991

Urban Times plays on the “spectacular nature of images”, proceeding by inlaying two images with a heterogeneous status. In places which are always different, a colourful face, seen sideways on, is overlaid on the frontal image of urban views (factories, rundown neighbourhoods, etc.). On the one hand, a deeply connotated and identifying image-portrait; on the other, architectures with no possible identification. For Leonel Moura, “the Western world itself has nurtured the awareness of identities and their assertion in a system of fierce productive competition”. The image of the athlete refers us to the artificial production of heroism, to the nationalism which underpins the ideology of sport, and to the chord of television media values. This fictitious corpus created by tele-presence is here separated from an uninhabited world with no relief, where flesh and body come across like a death wish, like the “return to a lost ancestrality”, lost in the “social wilderness of the technological revolution”. Standardization is contrasted with the black grain of a skin which floats without anchorage, without a place to live in.

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