They had this wonderful house in Ovar, in the north of Portugal where I used to spend Easter. Education and religion were already very present in this book. Surprisingly they are only verticals. In the last five years I only shot verticals. Mainly a reaction against the horizon line, against cinema… A way of conditioning the viewer’s gaze.

T.H.: In these early works the texture of the pictures however seems different from your later photography.

P.N.: Well, it is there. Surprisingly I’m known for using grain, but when you print small you just don’t see the grain. If you make a huge print, like you’ve seen in Usura, the grain becomes very apparent. Anyhow, grain has never been an issue to me; darkness is. The contamination of the soul.

T.H.: Since we’re talking about technique: Do you use the technique of solarisation in some of your work?

P.N.: I did that only in one project, in bone lonely. [9] I wanted dirty prints from a dirty world.

T.H.: Can you tell us something about that book and about Makulatur, both of which were published by Steidl in 2011. Makulatur is a sincere and powerful response to the death of your parents. [10]

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