Patrícia is an installation of four 16-minute videos specifically created by José Pedro Cortes for the context of Galeria Francisco Fino.
Patrícia Mamona is an Olympic triple-jumper. Her training sessions usually take place twice a day and include weights and explosion exercises at the gym, as well as jumping and running.
Guided by trainer José Uva, the sessions unfold at the Jamor High Performance Sport Centre, a venue for many athletes from other disciplines. However, only a few are at Patrícia’s level.
Most of the training consists of short, precise exercises aimed at fine tuning muscle precision, bodily balance and jumping technique — position of the feet, posture, approach, etc. — to generate fitness-peaks during the competition periods. Many of the exercises (especially those with weights and machines) are marked by tremendous intensity and violence, but also by a feeling of fragility due to the necessary precision, the need to stop the training as soon as a muscle is off, and above all to the constant, abstract focus on some jumps, in some distant future afternoon in Tokyo.
In October 2018, two years away from the Tokyo Olympics (which were then postponed to 2021), I suggested we could work together towards something in the future, something between photography and video. She agreed, so I started visiting the Jamor Centre regularly.
Our arrangement was simple: I could film or photograph whatever I wanted
without any restrictions as long as she did not have to interrupt any of the sessions. Her congeniality, discretion and professionalism made me feel almost invisible, as I either anticipated some of her exercises, or was overtaken by others.
It was a long and complicit process that lasted until September 2021, a month after her Silver Medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
Patrícia is a portrait of the time of a body at work.
About its power, precision and beauty.
A portrait of a woman and an athlete.
Support: República Portuguesa – Cultura / Direção-Geral das Artes