Pedro Miguel Frade (1960-1992)
Pedro Miguel Frade was one of the first students of the First Cycle Degree in Social Communication of FCSH at Universidade Nova de Lisboa. On April 10, 1989 he defended his master’s thesis in Social Communication, “A Fotografia Antes da sua cultura: Aventuras do olhar e desventuras da razão no século de Daguerre” for which he received a grade of Very Good.
Shortly before, in 1987, he published his first scientific article – “Obscuridade e paixões, paixões do obscuro”, in the Revista de Comunicação e Linguagens, No. 5, “Paixões,” pp. 73-83. In the same year, he began as a teaching assistant in the Department of Social Communication and joined CECL – Centro de Estudos de Comunicação e Linguagens Research Group. He was also a member of the National Advisory Council of the Revista de Comunicação e Linguagens.
In 1987-1988, in association with Jorge Molder and Madalena Perdigão, he produced a series of photography exhibitions and colloquia. He further translated the important work Gisele Freund, Fotografia e sociedade, which was published by Vega in 1989.
His landmark work was published postumously in 1992, Figuras do Espanto, a Fotografia Antes da sua Cultura, by Asa Editions. Figuras do Espanto is a pioneering Portuguese essay that reflects on the universe of photography. It proposes a unique understanding of its history that underlines how much – and in what ways – our attitudes towards photography have changed since its inception. Questioning the complexity of the processes of naturalization of the photographic image, Pedro Miguel Frade’s analysis uncovers the metamorphosis of amazement that, in a path that ranges from radicality to predictability, therein leading to the establishment of a culture of photography.
In 1992, the posthumous Pedro Miguel Frade Collection was edited, bringing together 345 monographs that made up the private library of Pedro Miguel Frade, and which has since been donated to the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Despite its limited scope, it represents an important source for research in the fields of aesthetics, photography and semiology.
The Pedro Miguel Frade Award was created in 1999 to distinguish young photographers up to 30 years of age. Winning works are entitled to a catalog and an exhibition at the Cadeia da Relação of Porto, which houses the Portuguese Photography Center (CPF). The Award is granted by the Portuguese Center of Photography (CPF).
The Pedro Miguel Frade Photography Award recognizes a young researcher into the nature of photography and is aimed at photographers under the age of 30. Subsequently, in the same Portuguese Center of Photography, the Pedro Miguel Frade Library of the Portuguese Center of Photography (at the former prison and Tribunal da Relação of Porto, at Largo Amor de Perdição) and it is open to the public.
For all those interested in photography, a selected bibliography follows, some of which are available at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Art Library:
Victor Palla / [textos de Pedro Miguel Frade, Tereza Siza; tradução de David Prescott]. Lisboa: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian. Centro de Arte Moderna, 1992.
“Comunicação” (1991). In Dicionário do Pensamento Contemporâneo. Coord. de Manuel Maria Carrilho. Lisboa: Círculo de Leitores, pp. 45-56.
“O coração da ciência: metáforas da história natural e da antropologia na fotografia” / [textos] Mirelle Thijsen, Pedro Miguel Frade. Coimbra: Centro de Estudos de Fotografia, 1991.
“Do auto-retrato à encenação de si” (1990). In Serpa, Luís (coord.), Je est un autre, Porto, Fundação de Serralves, 1990, pp. 37-41.
“A obra e os seus ínfimos”, in Revista de Comunicação e Linguagens, n.º 12-13. Dossier “A Experiência Estética”, organização de Emídio Rosa de oliveira e Maria Teresa Cruz. Lisboa: Edições Cosmos, 1990, pp. 67-76.
A fotografia: dossier / coordenação: Pedro Miguel Frade. In Artes & leilões. Lisboa. A. 1, N. 2 (Dez. 1989-Jan. 1990), pp. 21-44.
Joel-Peter Witkin, um homem e os seus monstros: how the ‘other’ half dreams its nightmares. Artes & leilões. Lisboa. A. 1, N. 2 (Dez. 1989-Jan. 1990), pp. 26-30.
“Fotografia: uma década intensa e incómoda”. Artes & leilões. Lisboa. A. 1, N. 3 (Fev.-Mar. 1990), pp. 44-45.
“Mercado da fotografia em Portugal”. Artes & leilões. Lisboa. A. 1, N. 1 (Out.-Nov. 1989), pp. 22-23.