O Festim [the Feast]
This visual investigation begins with an image from the photographic album of a border delimitation mission on the Angolan/Congolese frontier. The image shows a lunch at the Portuguese camp on October 5, 1914. At the table are six white men, three commanding officers from each colonial power, Portugal and Belgium. Standing at the back of the improvised dining room, is a black servant. His head, merged into the background, is invisible. Using the original glass negative, Vasconcelos retrieved the man’s features. The image was printed, cut up and reworked through collage, drawing and photography, resulting in a short animation and a web-based experiment, Daemonicycles, that shows part of the research material. The work reflects upon the enduring fantoms of history and colonialism, reconsidering power dynamics, cosmology and culture.
The work results from her activity as artist and researcher for the academic project The Photographic Impulse: Measuring the Colonies and the Colonial Bodies – The Photographic and Filmic Archive of the Portuguese Geographic and Anthropologic Missions