Place: São Paulo
Publisher: Cosac Naify
Size: 20 x 20 cm (approx.)
Hardcover, japanese binding, design by Jean Yves Cousseau, second edition (first 1997)
"My work has a lot to do with skin, for that is the surface connecting us to the world, in pleasure as much as in pain. Skin is a dialogue between outside and inside, a separation that is also a connection." - Miguel Rio Branco
Silent Book presents a compelling portrait of the latin world, composing a Baroque panel with ruined objects, poor circuses, brothels and cheap boxing gyms. The images expose urban life with extreme lyricism contrasting affection and violence.
"[Miguel Rio Branco's] is a full-blooded Roman Catholic art, its frequent sanguinary references alluding both to the central sacrament of that religion and the violent history of Latin America. Like that of Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Branco's art deals with the cultural complexities of the area, even when he makes a photograph elsewhere...'describes a world that, while intensely physical, made of blood, sweat and matter, is dark and shadowy, described . in sideways glances and mysterious half-lights. [Silent Book] begins with an enigmatic image of an ominous, half-open doorway, followed by one of a glittering knife, and we are soon at the heart of the matter - the dark, sweaty Santa Rosa gym. The recurring metaphors revolve around violence, death, religion, poverty. His images of the gym, and also of a bullfight, suggest that the sacramental violence offered in sport is not, as some suggest, an incitement to violence outside, but a way to mitigate or break the cycle" - Parr & Badger