P.N.: In my first book Para Sempre I talk about life from birth to death. Makulatur closes the circle in six diptychs.

T.H.: What about the title? It makes me think of macule in the sense of a stigma, or even the opposite, which is present in the Latin «immaculata».

P.N.: That’s fascinating, but actually I was at Steidl’s printing Far Cry. The first couple of hundred sheets were spoiled, they were maculated, and they put a green slip with the word «Makulatur» on them. I like the etymological associations even if my idea was actually embedded in a much more concrete situation.

bone lonely came out of a collaboration with one of my best friends and a great poet, Rui Baiāo. Before that we had already done Nuez. [11] Poets have something very much in common with some photographers: reduce feelings and thoughts to the minimum.

These two books, Makulatur and bone lonely, came out together in a way by accident. It wasn’t planned that way, but for me that’s what my work is all about too: accepting accidents.

T.H.: The form of the photographic book also requires and permits another way to actually study your work.

P.N.: I remember copying by hand Ginsberg’s Howl when I was young, because it was forbidden material. There were no Xerox machines then! Books were always extremely important to me. Exhibitions disappear, books stay.

T.H.: As a conclusion I would like to ask you about a statement you once made: «The only redeeming thing is to continue to work knowing that the images may be timeless. The photos must survive independently of me as a kind of legacy of my time.» [12] How do you think about an afterlife of images apart from your life?

P.N.: I never read Walter Benjamin, Susan Sontag or Roland Barthes. Never wanted anybody to spoil my mystery with photography. But it is curious that Barthes wrote La Chambre Claire after the death of his mother based on a picture of her. So he writes that book because he misses her and the only thing he has left is that photograph. That’s the power of photography!

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