Belvedere is a privileged viewing point. From it I see shadows of the past and present against a low season atmosphere, typical to the tourism of a certain segment of the middle-class, where I was born and raised and where my soul still belongs. 

During a road trip to the Tiradentes Photography Festival in 2011, memories from my school holidays spent at inns in Minas Gerais hit me intensely: bringing back the sensations of a childhood that only felt completeness and warmth at those places. The horseback riding trips, the games room, the slides, the swimming pool, the thermal baths, everything was fascinating. Cambuquira, in Minas Gerais, and Aguas de Lindoia, in São Paulo, were my Eldorados.

My encounter with the city of Caxambu, on my way to Tiradentes, gave me the primary impulse to produce Belvedere, which certainly does not represent, in a literal fashion, the places I once visited, but connects directly to my memories of them. A form of “Grand Hotel” spirit dominates these images. 

This evocative feeling – combined with the photogenic image of these empty and/or decadent spaces – directed my organization of this photography series. 

When transforming these fleeting memories into images, I found that these places had undergone a huge process of rarefaction and consequently, a form of human isolation. Yet: I felt that my gaze transformed unfamiliar settings around the world similar to each other; places very distant and disparate, where feelings like mine have probably emerged and will continue to emerge.  

Bob Wolfenson