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.