Petrija Dos Santos is a lens-based artist and educator from Tkaronto/Toronto. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Fine Arts from Concordia University. She is the recipient of the Lande Award in Photography (2019) and the John deBlois Memorial Award (2015).
Dos Santos approaches her photographic practice as an entry point for contemplating themes of relational dynamics, ontology, and memory. Originally a documentary-based practice, her work has shifted away from a focus on documentary practices to exploring the energies of seemingly inanimate objects as signifiers for cultural artifact and supernatural beliefs systems.
The photographic camera is a consistent element in Dos Santos’ work, its problematic presence and the ways in which it imposes expectations and roles upon subjects is a key consideration in her practice. She is currently exploring the ways in which the camera encourages subjects to exaggerate performance and gesture when faced with the possibilities of being recorded.
This short video piece was created after learning of a superstition about resting loaves of bread places upside down on tabletop surfaces. The origins of the superstition are muddied, but several versions of it exist across Europe, all of which warn of the invitation of a curse if the placement of the bread meets certain conditions. In an effort to test this superstitious theory, I recorded my exchange with the loaf of bread using a video camera. It was my hope that I would be able to withdraw or witness any energies that are inherently held by the loaf of bread. Informed by theories on thing-power, my approach is predominantly one of observation and speculation, ultimately culminating in an inquisitive and performative gesture for the camera.
((vimeo pass: concordia2020))
video is 16:9 aspect ratio (1080p) and originally projected 5'x9'