Thursday, May 23rd, 2019
from 6 to 9pm

The photo book «Éphémère» and the artist book «Continuum» by Paul Cupido (both published by Edition Bildhalle) will be released at the opening.

The artist will be present and sign his books.


The Bildhalle is delighted to open the first solo exhibition by Dutch artist Paul Cupido and to announce concurrently the publication of his first monograph «Éphémère». In addition, the limited edition artist’s book ‘Continuum’ will be released, a printed work of art that consists of 6 varieties of paper, making browsing a tactile experience (design: Akiko Wakabayashi). With both publications, Edition Bildhalle invites you to discover PaulCupido’s poetic visual universe. In mid-May we will present his work for the first time at the international art fair Photo London, followed by a solo exhibition in Zurich, opening on the 23rd of May.


The title of both the exhibition and the monograph refers to a key concept in Paul Cupido’s artistic work. In botany, ‘ephemer’ describes the quality of an organism’s acute short-livedness (‘living only for one day’); in the figurative sense, however, the word denotes an existential volatileness that Cupido's delicate images of flowering plants, moonlit landscapes and the human body seem to permeate.


Paul Cupido was born in 1977 on the small Dutch island of Terschelling. The inhabitants lived for the most part from what nature had to offer: from local food sources and the things that were washed ashore. The islanders’ deep bond with nature and a life strongly affected by the rhythm of the seasons, the phases of the moon and the tides also characterize Cupido’s artistic work to this day. He is convinced that people’s lived existence is closely interwoven with nature.


Paul Cupido’s photographic explorations led him to Japan shortly after graduating from the Academy of Photography and later to the tropical zones of the Brazilian Amazon. But every investigation of a place by means of photography is for Cupido also a spiritual journey into his inner self. His mesmerizing image sequences seem to have been created at the transitional moment between day and night, in a zone without time and geographical placement, but full of magic, melancholic beauty and poetic power.

«Wherever his worldwide photographic explorations take him, Paul Cupido brings to bear his childhood experience of growing up on an island on his images and the way he prefers to talk about them. The heartbeat of life on the island is supported by rhythm of the seasons, the moon, and the movement of the tides. The beauty of such strong environmental bonds, paired with a sense of the fragility of life, gave shape to Paul's later engagement with photography and image-making.


In recent series the emphasis has shifted to éphémère. Borrowing this notion from the artist Charlotte Davies and her immersive, interactive visual/aural artwork of the same name (1998), Cupido stresses the fleetingness of existence in the process of genesis, metamorphosis and disappearance, as well as focuses on the symbolic correspondences between earth and body. 
The ephemeral is also expressed through the moonlit landscapes and the dusk, that transitional zone in between the harsh light of day and the depths of the night. Coincidentally, «ephemerae» refers to temporary printed matter. Cupido's well-crafted prints, however, promise anything but short-livedness, yet invite us to meditate on the fragility of life, the interconnectedness of humans and non-humans, and the silence that is at the heart of every word and image.» 

Taco Hidde Bakker


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