Off Season focuses on the effects the tourism trade has had on the small island of Itaparica, just off the coast of Salvador, Brazil.
Itaparica has a history of wealthy tourism coming to the island dating back to the sugar trade days. The local fisherman quickly applied for jobs in the luxurious Villas the Portuguese were building and proceeded to work for a couple of weeks per year while the owners were present, and then to live a very laid back life in the interim knowing that work would inevitably come again. In the 1970’s a ferryboat was built making access to the island easier, and with this it made general tourism and industry more accessible. A petrochemical plant was erected, and for a while life was looking promising for those living on Itaparica. But the plant soon closed down. And the North beach of Salvador became a more popular holiday resort. And today, very little happens on Itaparica, other than the annual flood of local tourism during carnival over December. The two months of mayhem are enough for most of the residents of the island to earn an basic income sufficient to just keep them living through the year – a ten month period were not much happens.
During an artist in residence program at the Instituto Sacatar it was this which struck me. I was fascinated by the psychology of waiting. The waiting for time to pass as the cycle continued. It was the Off Season. Infrastructure catering for the masses lay empty, and the few faces present moved hauntingly through the streets with an expression I had not encountered before – the weathering of nothingness. I wanted to know what held one to this environment?