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A NECESSARY REALISM by José Pedro Cortes

25 EUR

In A Necessary Realism, José Pedro Cortes renews his way of looking at the matter and surface of the world. Through a set of photographs taken between 2005 and 2018, Cortes looks at the representation of the body in this complex and vulnerable time.  
In contrast with neoliberal realism, his images affirm the necessity of not allowing ourselves to be subordinated to pragmatic vision of life, because reality is not mechanic, linear or numerical, but a challenge that demands daily attention and reflection. 

Throughout the book we come across men and women who look at us, others who sensually caress each other in bed, or we observe a group of friends languidly relaxing on the lawn, on a summer’s afternoon. There aren’t any geographies or time scales, and, as observers of José Pedro Cortes’ photographs, we are voluntarily invited to make fast, slow, intense movements, which go in and out, attempting to find life, but also the skeleton, ruin and remains that time leaves in its wake.

Published on the occasion of the exhibition Um Realismo Necessário at Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea do Chiado in Lisboa (from 28.06.2018-28.10.2018).  More about the exhibition here.

A Necessary Realism
José Pedro Cortes
Co-published by Pierre von Kleist editions and MNAC - Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea do Chiado, Lisbon, Portugal
Softcover with dust jacket, 19x26.5 cm, 240 pag., 148 images
ISBN    978-972-776-525-6


Includes a conversation between José Pedro Cortes and Nuno Crespo. 
Essays by Shoair Mavlian (director at Photoworks UK), David Santos (Curator and Art Historian), Julião Sarmento (Artist), Nuno Crespo (Researcher and Art Critic). And a previously unpublished poem titled Music for images by José Pedro Cortes by José Tolentino de Mendonça (Poet and Head of the Vatican Secret Archives).

Conversation and texts in Portuguese and English

Pierre von Kleist Editions is an artist run publisher specialized in photo books. We are committed to the production of new, innovative photo books and we believe the photo book to be a medium capable of expressing complex, abstract, contemporary issues and to reach a wide audience.

We believe that in a multicultural, globalized world the photo book is one of the privileged mediums. The language of sequential images is, perhaps, today’s most international language, understood by the large majority of the world population. Photo books don’t need translation, they need world distribution. Internet provides an efficient, accessible way for books to reach global audiences.

At PVKe we aim to produce books that transcend the documentary quality that is usually associated with the photography medium. We are interested in artistic achievements and in the specific qualities that the medium offers. We want to make books that tell stories and deal with the contemporary way of living.

The photo book is a complex art form that combines photography, graphic design, cinema, literature, etc. Our goal is to push the limits and conventions of the photo book, contributing to establish it as a respected, mature medium.


Pierre von Kleist editions is based in Lisboa, Portugal and is run by André Príncipe and José Pedro Cortes.

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