Silent Book. Photographs by Miguel Rio Branco. Design by Jean Yves Cousseau. Cosac & Naify, Sao Paulo, 1997. 92 pp. Octavo (small size). First edition. Hardbound with photo-illustrated boards. No jacket as issued. 75 color reproductions with 3 gatefolds.
Included in Horacio Fernandez (ed.), The Latin American Photobook
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
"[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
"Silent Book, published in 1997, presents tableaux of bodies and spaces affected by time; decrepitude is magnified by the light, and wounded flesh, aging, and death haunt the work through earthy and blood red colors...[it] draws its original idea from an audiovisual installation "Door into Darkness", made in 1995, which treated Aids, Boxers, toreros, naked bodies cross animals and abandoned objects...a phantomatic atmosphere, an obscure and mysterious journey, between life and death..."--Magnum