Fábio Cunha

ZONA – An Investigation Report

Fabio’s statement

After the housing crisis caused by the economic and political power, the housing authority decided to open an investigation to assess its consequences. Given that previous reports were ambiguous, fieldwork was needed. Thus an investigator was sent to ZONA with the specific aim of preparing a visual report on the urban landscape post-crisis. A new normal seemed to have taken over.
Zona is a doc-fiction that analyzes the consequences of the housing crisis. An investigator prepares a report that functions as a device to build this analysis. Mutations, trauma, and fractures of the post-conflict become evident. The work personifies the research working method, which compares and obsessively analyzes situations, details, objects, sizes, etc. The goal is to find something that can explain the new normal that exists there.

About Zona

With Zona, Fábio excelled at creating a very compelling narrative that could almost function as an instruction book on how to address the blind spots in visual storytelling. In this fictional tale, the subject is anonymity – no one regards us and avoiding eye contact Fábio manages to make this story universal. But that’s a given: characters are pointing us in the direction of the void and those empty spaces, instead of drowning into their big holes, manage to erupt. Those empty spaces arise form their own corners and their own angles.
Fábio studied architecture and his understanding of grids and space is quite apparent. As Jesús Micó wrote, about Zona, Fábio’s approach to this fictional arena is “obsessive […] conducting an intensive search for curious and unusual framings and unusual formal relations between the different elements of the periphery (space, people, objects, situations, sizes).” Often the environment in Zona can seem quite fake – the leveling of the floors, the flattening of the walls, etc.
Aware of the visible space within photography – as an impossible field – Fábio chose to construct upon the invisible, opening the images to the viewer. Here and there, traces of a life being lived are suggested through the use of vegetation, which signal the tameless nature of reality and photography itself: both can’s survive without drama, and this drama is but a coma – an eye patch, the wind, the thickness of the floor…

ZONA was awarded the DOCfield Dummy Award 2016 – Barcelona – and was selected as one of the best photobooks of the year @ PhotoEspaña 2017. A preview of the book can be seen here.



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