Evandro Teixeira. Chile 1973
In front of Evandro Teixeira’s photos
Carlos Drummond de Andrade
The person, the place, the thing
are shown and hidden
at the same time, under the light,
and two eyes are not enough
to grasp what is hidden
in the quick bloom of a gesture.
We need the magical lens
to enrich human sight
and from each thing’s realness
to extract an even drier real
for us to dive deeply
into the pure enigma of images
Photography – it is the codename
of the most acute perception
that shows to our own selves,
and from the evanescence of all,
builds a permanence,
a chrystal of time on paper.
From the struggles in the streets of Rio
what is left for us
more positive, more burning,
than the accusing photos,
as alive now as they were then,
to remember as much as to exorcize?
Traces of flooding and dumping,
the corpse unburied,
the mattress tossed to the wind,
the muddy and filthy slum,
the beggar from New York,
the blossoming girl at Jockey Club,
Garrincha and Nureyev, dance
of two destinies, Candomble priestesses
in Ipanema beach-temple,
the odd lady from Ouro Preto,
the pain of Latin America,
myths are not, as they are photos.
Photography: a weapon of love,
of justice, and knowledge
in the seven corners of the world,
you travel, you surprise, you testify
mankind’s stormy life
and the hope to rise from the ashes.
In this poem, dedicated to Evandro and published in the book Evandro Teixeira: fotojornalismo [Evandro Teixeira: Photojournalism], in 1982, Drummond emphasizes the strength and iconicity of the images of 1968 in Brazil, as well as the Chilean images that reveal “the pain of Latin America,” and also notes that “two eyes are not enough to grasp what is hidden in the quick bloom of a gesture”.
Certainly, anticipating and capturing the quick bloom of a gesture in images is perhaps what best characterizes the photography of Evandro Teixeira, as the poet well recognizes in front of his images. Frequently working with a Leica camera equipped with a 35 mm lens, Evandro has built much of his work capturing people and their gestures, actions, expressions and feelings, in times of struggle, pain, or joy.
These images constitute today a true canon of Brazilian and international photojournalism. The open plane of the wide-angle lens creates a background of landscape and contextualization that surrounds and embraces the subjects in the foreground, while also taking advantage of the extensive depth of field offered by this lens. When previously focused on intermediate distances, with the opening of the diaphragm halfway, virtually all planes remain in focus, facilitating the contextualization and centrality of the actions, gestures and expressions captured by the photographer.
However, these resources and formal solutions in relation to the image do not overlap with Evandro's sensitive and humanistic vision and critical thought and attitude towards themes, agendas, interests and narratives. Combined with wit and determination, even luck, and often with concealment and improvisation to hide an unauthorized photographic act, they constitute the basis of a bold photojournalism willing to take risks to build a direct and unbiased representation of events, faithful to the photographer's vision and critical understanding of the facts it documents, the objects and frames of his choice and decision. These are the main strategies adopted by Evandro Teixeira throughout his career to compose a very personal signature for his images, which characterizes his vast production and makes it unique and, today, a reference in the field of photojournalism and photography.