André França
Backyard II

When I was around 5, there was on my bedroom wall, near my bed, a wool cross-stitch picture of a clown. Sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night and look at the picture, and the clown seemed to move, making faces. It was, in my young mind, scary. That was almost 40 years ago. Finding this picture on the ground of the backyard of the house where I grew up, partially covered in shadows, was the trigger for this second series of the “Backyard” project – although, a year after doing the first series, the perceived dynamics of the objects in that space was already pointing to this continuation.

In our culture, where basements and attics are almost non-existent in the houses, the backyard is given a good deal of the uses reserved to those spaces. One of such important uses is as a deposit for objects we do not want anymore, we are no longer interested in. Abandoned in the backyard, they start to lead a suspended existence, as if in a sort of limbo. No longer used, they are neither destroyed nor disposed of definitively. They simply remain there, accumulating time strata. And, some day, they may be rediscovered, retrieved from oblivion, and have their utility reinvented or otherwise be discarded forever.

The photographs comprising this series were made in 2012 and 2013, at the backyard of the house where I was raised and lived until I was 14. Besides being a place where I could observe the type of existence led by these objects, as a child this backyard was to me a space full with mysteries, discoveries, wonder, and contact with nature. This was also the place where I carried out some of my first experiences with photography. It is probably the most intimate, personal space I will ever photograph.

[See the photographs]