A Portrait of Disease, An Experience at Kalafong Hospital
DAVID GOLDBLATT, 2000
The physician, Miguel Ribeiro, has dared to find beauty where other practitioners have been concerned only to objectify the subjects of their clinical and forensic studies, and where ordinary folk are wont to avert their eyes from fear or even disgust.
He has done this without fudging but indeed by precisely applying the understanding afforded him by his profession.Nor has he falsely dramatised or indulged in sentimentality. In the result he has produced photographs of pathologies of the human condition which are remarkable for the depth of the paradoxes they pose.Somehow the scientific is not obscured by or sacrificed to the aesthetic, yet the clarity of both, seemingly, is heightened.And far from beauty concealing or minimising what is suffered, it seems to make the condition suffered both real and immediate.Science and art, the beautiful and the terrible are here brought into rare and moving contiguity
MD. Specialized in Internal Medicine in South Africa. Consultant at TH, Cape Town. Clinical Director of Clinica Medica Internacional de Lisboa (CMIL).
Author of “Universo Programado, uma alternativa ao Darwinismo e à religião” 2013 and “Beyond Darwin, the Program Hypothesis” Sep 2018 – the second edition coincides with the launch of this site.
Photographer. The images on this homepage are from books, catalogs, magazines and newspapers where his work has been published or reviewed.
"In his book, Miguel Ribeiro has approached one of the most complex and contentious issues facing humanity: the origins and evolutionary course of life. It is a serious effort, best described as brave, thoughtful, informed, and as free of preconceptions as is possible given the topic. The results are surprising and deserving of attention."
- Antonio Damasio
Four years after graduation in medicine (Lisbon), I moved to South Africa where I worked from 1980 to 1991. Inspired by the exuberant pathology and by the serene and dignified attitude towards disease and death by black patients, I was moved to record my impressions—this is a sample of a large collection of medical photographs of that period (shared with the Dept. of Internal Medicine of Kalafong Hospital, where I was working).
From 2000 to 2008 I was concerned with the abstract depiction of my own body, its textures and sculptural potential explored as an object, stripped of its human identity. During the latter two years of this period, I sequenced some of the photographic series in short films with music. This collection is titled "Abstract Body", while the films can be viewed in "Videos".
From 2008 to date, I have been taking photographs At Home aiming at a fantasized illustration of objects and friends or of some interaction with them.
The photographs Mandela/Africa are memories from different occasions.
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