Photography and communication through art



Since Niepse, in the XIX century, photography has always been a means of communication at the same title of the so-called plastic arts in any of its forms of content, even as reportage, portrait or others, standing out in the arts as a first complementary element to later acquire its status as an art form.
The diversity, today, of forms of artistic expression makes traditional definitions, such as sculpture, painting, drawing, music, or literature, obsolete as vertical definitions, since the creative forms used by creators are so pervasive that our perceptual senses, such as seeing, hearing, feeling, communicating, etc., are simultaneously touched in a vertical and horizontal sensation, especially with the use of the digital and computational.

The ability to read and interpret facts or artworks is entirely dependent on the knowledge acquired over time, which serves us as a "dictionary" to interpret and classify each relationship between the subject and the object, a fact that underlies our memory, which works like a computer that reacts according to the information that is fed into it, and which, when decoded, enables us to activate our imagination and creativity.
The amount of stored information determines the degree of culture of its possessor, which will be more or less productive according to the deductive capacity of that same possessor, giving him the definition of "intelligent", valid in the good or bad sense according to the values defended by the society where that possessor is inserted, varying according to his geographic location, belief or tradition, but tending to be versatile according to the influences it receives from the outside, variable in time, between the past and the future in a real time that evolves as if the present time were lived strangled between that past and that future, without its own space whose references are diluted between the analysis of one to be reflected in the other, thus losing its own space.

Returning to the subject of communication, the languages used by the various social and age groups are determining factors for the signals emitted by the sender to be perceptible by the receiver of the message, as well as the degree of culture of each, even if they are sounds, gestures, or clues, thus making the messages decodable and prone to influence the receiver.   This fact is especially central when it comes to communication through a piece of art, where even a subject with a high degree of culture may not be able to "read" that object, since his or her own language does not harmonize with the discourse.
Here enters photography as a mode of communication on a par with speech, writing or sound, and whose technique has developed and become so popular that it is almost impossible to define what is reportage, cinema or video, aesthetic exercise or pure plastic language, to become the most direct and accessible means of communication.

Who doesn't do photography today? Only those who can't talk…

Visual artist, Henrique Silva was executive director of Árvore - Cooperativa de Actividades Artísticas (Porto) from 1978 to 1995, and president of Projecto - Núcleo de Desenvolvimento Cultural. He is co-founder of the Cerveira Art Biennial Foundation, in which he is chairman of the Founders Council and the Scientific Council. He is director of the Superior Course of Arts and Multimedia of the Gallaecia Superior School, since 2009. He is an honorary member of the National Society of Fine Arts since 2010 and of the Árvore Cooperative.
He was a scholar of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Paris from 1961 to 1963, attending the École Superieur de Beux-Arts de Paris.  He graduated from the Universitée de Paris VIII, in 1977, in Fine Arts for Teaching, and received his doctorate in Digital Media-Art at the Universidade Aberta and the University of Algarve in 2015.
As general and pedagogical director of the Professional School of Social Economy in 1989/91 and 1998/2000, he participated in international seminars and meetings in Warsaw (1983), Brussels (1986) and Crete (1987), among others, on territorial and cultural development policies.
He has more than 50 solo exhibitions and 200 collective exhibitions held in several countries, namely, Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, and the United States.

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