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Still from From The Window Of My Room

Photograph from the ongoing Gambiarra series

The work of Cao Guimarães forms out of an improvised approach towards his own position in relation to reality. Shot in both film and video and edited into videos combining both media, his filmic style and approach has its own unique appearance. Blurring boundaries between art, cinema and documentary, Guimarães' videos enter a discourse in anthropology, reality and the chance encounters that affect the course of reality as he experiments with differing degrees of intervention in the process of his film productions.

In The Soul of the Bone, 2004, Guimarães documents the lifestyle of a hermit, by accompanying him in caverns of rural Brazil. The film starts with a voyeuristic view of the hermits' daily rituals, with no communication exchange between the hermit and the documenter; however language and expectations of documentary become subverted when we discover how the hermit enjoys company, has extensive knowledge of world affairs and explains his survival through government incapacity benefits. A visit from tourists demonstrates the hermit's 'tourist attraction' status, and begins the demise of the myth of the hermit as a solitary, mysterious character. This film is one of a trilogy where Guimarães spends time with traditionally 'solitary' figures to explore the nature of their realities and the extent to which he can occupy a space alongside them.

The more recent Accident, 2006, sees Guimarães collaborate with Pablo Lobato on a film which interprets and reconfigures the names of different cities in Brazil presented in the form of short, visual chapters. Through the journey we encounter residents' daily movements, festivals, and incidental chance encounters with nature. The film represents the filmmakers' meeting with these places and proclaims little about a universal truth in their essence.

In addition to these feature length films, Guimarães produces short videos stemming from his contemplative observations of incidental moments. In 2006, he produced a series of shorts in Mexico including Sin Peso, a collection of colours taken from the fabric of market stall awnings and Peiote, an observation of a child spontaneously joining in with a choreographed festival dance. His most recent short video Quarta Feira De Cinzas, 2006, a collaboration with Rivane Neuenschwander, was screened at Frieze Art Fair in London and has been bought by Tate as part of the Frieze Arts Fair Special Acquisitions Fund.

The nature of gathering imagery intuitively extends to his photographic works through which he builds inventories of the world around him. His most notorious collection is his Gambiarras, an ongoing project capturing those inventive, practical solutions we improvise in our everyday life to compensate for the things we are lacking.

During his residency at Gasworks, Guimarães showed a selection of short films and videos made between 2000 and 2006, few of which had been screened in the UK before. The work presented a shift of focus to insignificant but hugely rewarding aspects of daily reality that might otherwise go unseen. From the Window of My Room, Peiote, Hypnosis, Weightless, Inventory of Little Deaths - Blow (made with Rivane Neuenschwander) and Nanofania are all names of some of his short films.

Screening

Thurs 16 November 7.30
The evening's screening at Gasworks is a selection of short films and videos made between 2000 and 2006, few of which have been screened in the UK before.

The screening will feature a number of works that present a shift of focus to insignificant but hugely rewarding aspects of daily reality that might otherwise go unseen.