“I spent every day in May 2020 photographing passers-by on Paulista Avenue, the city’s emblematic – and longest – artery. At this date the pandemic is already raging in Brazil and São Paulo officially becomes the capital of the coronavirus in Latin America. Just like the virus, the incendiary statements of President Jair Bolsonaro make the headlines. The citizens that I photograph are as much afraid of the disease as they are of the imminence of a “golpe”, a military coup d’état.
My shooting protocol is simple. I make portraits by getting as close as possible. The framing is deliberately very tight. The gaze, even more than the face, is the center of gravity. I ask everyone to stop for a short moment to reflect on this very special moment we are all going through, focusing my question on the pandemic and the national political situation.
From this double questioning arise pensive glances, seeming as much focused on themselves as on a distant or vague point, revealing in both cases an elusive off-field. An uneasy immobility seems to run through all these portraits. Like a double astonishment, intimate and collective. ”