Fluvial is a meditation of the beaches and villages of interior northern and central Portugal.
Photographed between 2011 and 2018, these fluvial scenes transmute personal geography into a fictional atmosphere. Testifying to the author’s lifelong relationship with northern and central Portuguese riverside beaches and villages, they act not in the manner of a topographic survey, but rather by equating erosion with vision. Just as the river currents have shaped the natural elements, time’s passage appears to have depurated irony off his gaze, predisposing it to form and analogy, and to kindness towards his equals.
Capturing families at informal moments of Portuguese society, predominantly emigrant workers home for summer from northern European countries, bodies, tree trunks and riverbed rocks are made to resemble small sculptures (some of which anthropomorphic); the human body, here almost amphibious, is often reduced to the simple form, to the submerged surface, either adopting the stream bed as an optical instrument, or by shaping it with light.
The human and non-human bodies emerge from chiaroscuro schemes, either as elements of an illusory mise-en-scène, or defamiliarized, reduced to mere form, as if by casting a spell on them.
Realistic yet dreamlike, conveying a pagan sense of nature, creating the atmospheric effect of an infinite Sunday, it reminds one of a summer dream —a visual ode to human leisure.
"É impossível ver estas fotografias aberta e surpreendentemente felizes sem pensarmos quanto a imagem do ‘interior’ mudou para o país nesses oito anos. E todos sabemos que mudou à força. À força de serras queimadas, de povoações destruídas, de cadáveres perdidos em estradas assassinas que obrigaram o país a perceber da forma mais dura os custos de vivermos todos inclinados sobre o mar.
Mas as imagens de Mouraz ajudam a desfazer a abstração esquemática e distante do “mundo rural” de um outro modo. Devolvendo-o a uma memória, a dele, a do lugar e a nossa."Fluvial
"Indeed, Fluvial carries sediments of sweet eroded evocations, meandering away from the actual experience; as to commemorate the unwinding spirit of an endless sojourn along the river, a perpetual recording and flushing of the ambrosial sweetness and cherubic innocence of a Portuguese summer weekend."Fluvial
Finding Yourself in the Water
The flow of rivers, the flow of life, the washing away of worry and care: that’s what you’ll find in Tito Mouraz’s beautiful photobook Fluvial, a story of the rivers across northern and central inland Portugal.Fluvial