A Canadian photographs Brazil; a Brazilian, snapping pictures of Canada. The exhibition “Olhares Cruzados” or “Exchange of Glances” reflects on the similarities and differences between the two countries
April 1, 2019 - Have you ever imagined how a foreigner sees the landscapes you've become accustomed to from the time you were born? What is the strangeness and wonder caused by images that seem so natural and affectionate to us? What are the similarities between two seemingly distant cultures? This is precisely the purpose of the series of photographs that are part of the exhibition "Olhares Cruzados Brasil-Canadá" opened on March 21 at Casa Fiat de Cultura, in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
The exhibition, designed by the Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce (CCBC) and part of the 5th edition program of the Festival de la Francophonie, features 15 images of Ottawa, the capital of Canada, captured by the lenses of Brazilian photographer Kazuo Okubo, and 15 other images made by Canadian photographer Daniel Stanford, of the urban landscapes of Brasilia, capital of Brazil. Because Okubo is a native of Brasilia and Stanford is from Ottawa, the pair switched countries and cities in search of what's new and what is seen as everyday life for the other. The work presents the contrasts, but also the similarities between colors, scenarios and constructions of two capitals separated by more than 7 thousand km, 15 hours of flight and a vast ocean.
Daniel has known Brazil for 12 years and, in more than one visit, has been to Rio de Janeiro, Manaus and Lençóis Maranhenses, which generated the series of photographs "Brazil Sea of Dunes", transformed into a book. Brasilia, however, was a novelty. "It was always my dream to see it", he says, adding that he was not disappointed: "the aesthetic is so artistic, beautiful, original and clean".
Kazuo had never visited Canada, but the experience captivated him. "I really wanted to know more about the country and get a closer look into this culture", says the Brazilian. "I noticed in Ottawa the presence of the contrast between the grandeur of the classic and the modern", says the photographer, using the Palace of Parliament as an example, as well as the large glass towers in the center of the city. And what's the biggest challenge the city has imposed on Kazuo? The cold. "I experienced temperatures of -5 ºC or -9 ºC with the wind-chill factor", he recalls. But the cold days provided a welcome surprise to the Brazilian: "Since I had never seen snow, it was a remarkable sight for me.