Thais Medina “Holy Reviewer: Martyrs, Saints and Sinners of Contemporary Photography”
After having experienced several portfolio reviews, I began to read into what, for me, is an association between reviewers and saints, developing a concept based on my perception of the reviewing process. The project that resulted from this concept proposes a space for reflection between artists, reviewers and festival organizers that may lead to new forms of interaction beneficial to all. As an Artist, I expect professional “miracles” from my Reviewer and he, in turn, must have faith in his choice of talent in order to obtain the financial support required to turn a concept into a successful reality that will benefit us both. The definition of Faith that stems from the Latin fides is what ultimately binds us together. “Believing”, between Artist and Reviewer, means accepting the other as empowered with the authority of truth, knowledge and talent.
Thaís Medina (Brazil, 1978) works on conceptual-photographic documentation about visual representations generated from religious practices, their creeds and superstitions. From an anthropological viewpoint, she deconstructs these representations in order to understand the various influences that nourish them. With her photographs Thaís attempts to describe and understand these practices: affiliation of its participants, rituals and symbols. She also undertook performed an exploratory work, going into the sub-systems that support these beliefs: consumption of objects of worship both in its magic as commercial (statues, prints, etc.), depending on their materiality, design and specific functions within communities. Her work intends to capture the complexity of these systems: religious syncretism inherent in them, hybridity as regional characteristic and different mutations they suffer in relation to the changes that society in general experience. Thaís has been developing and exhibiting her projects in Brazil, Spain, Portugal, England, Ireland, Georgia, Australia and Africa.