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Once upon a time, I, Chuang-Tzu, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Tzu. Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man. Between a man and a butterfly there is necessarily a distinction. The transition is called the transformation of material things.
In the middle of the sea, somewhere between Manhattan and Staten Island, a man follows me.
André Príncipe, in Non-Fiction
Published on the occasion of Príncipe´s major exhibition to date, in Centro Cultural Vila Flor (Guimarães, Portugal), Non-Fiction is a heartfelt reflection on how to use photography.
The book combines photographs with entries of a dream diary done in the last twenty years. Together with many new images, we revisit Príncipe´s adventure photos from different series, and we learn more about them, where and when they were made, how do they relate to each other.
Non-fiction is what you experience with your eyes open, what you eyewitness. It is historically or empirically factual. Non-fiction is Príncipe´s photography. Fiction is what you see with your eyes closed, your dreams, what you imagine. In the book, the photos and text interact in mysterious, humorous, significant ways. Non-fiction becomes so close to fiction that it can be only defined by its negative, like a human is a non-monkey, or a man, a non-woman. Things are transitional. Half of the poetry of life would be gone, if we did not feel that life was either a dream or a stage in which the actors seldom realised that they were playing their parts. It´s about what we call reality.