When we think of at home, we think of, at least, two direct meanings: the built home, a specific place with walls, and the immaterial home, of the places where we feel happy and safe.
At Home (2012-2013) by Rui Telmo Romão is in between those to meanings that here become coincident. Packed with a compass, maps and GPS, the artist photographed places where he feels at home always in relation with the direction and distance precisely measured to the house where he was born.
The photographies from the series At Home reveal places of memories and personal stories of the artist. Some in wide shots showing the infinite landscape, with high trees and rocks couvered in a green moss that seams to breach out of the image, others in close ups revealing details of a rock full of veins and spotted by ropes that gives clues of the human presence that we never really see, the images flow and possible stories go on being drawn by the imagination of who reads them.
At Home gets into a position similar to the conceptual photography of the 60’s that manifests in the unpretentious use of the instant photography and the renounce of aesthetics in favour of meaning. As the conceptual photography, this series is fundamentally characterized by its narrative content. The principal of the conceptual and pictorialists photographers was based in the conviction that they could represent emotions. Rui Telmo Romão recovers that conviction using photography as the medium to express one idea instead of using it as a tool to document the visible world.
At first look, the photographies seem to have something random. However, here, the meticulous process determined the framing of each image. After choosing each place representing a synonymous of being at home, the artist measured the direction and distance to the house where he was born and established his roots in the first decades of is life and that, until today, is an overriding reference of home. This direction establishes what is visible in the photography.
At Home, by Rui Telmo Romão, reveal us the deepest meaning of home, that is not translatable into walls or addresses but is something so immense and free as the places it presents in these images.
by Luisa Santos, 2013