Cristina Dias de Magalhães - INSTINCTS. SAME BUT DIFFERENT (2020)

The birth of Victoria and Helena changed everything. Nothing is the same anymore. They are part of my world, my life, myself. We evolve side-by-side united by a unique bond. I started “Instincts. Same but different” as the silent observer of their explorations, encounters, and nascent dyad. Instead, I know now that this has been the process to redefine myself as a woman, a mother, and an artist.

“Instincts. Same but different” reads like a diary in which Cristina Dias de Magalhães deciphers her family environment visually and emotionally. Fascinated by the native bond uniting her twin daughters, she has detached herself from self-portraits to rediscover the moments linked to early childhood through their gaze: the joy of life, the exploration of the environment, the discovery of oneself, and the building of relationship with others.

By including the animal universe that her daughters love to observe and analyse, she establishes a dialogue between pictures where instincts prevail and guide us. As a mother, she projects herself into the archetypal figure of the animal, endowed with symbolism and human characteristics, which accompanies her daughters on a daily basis in their learning process. Her diptychs uncover a silent bond created through moments shared and felt together. This physical, imaginary, and yet authentic encounter reminds us that we are born into a complex world where instincts are the basis for survival. 

Through the display of our vanished infantile and instinctive worlds, the series “Instincts. Same but different” refers to the relationship we build with others, our environment and our planet, pushing us to redefine our own humanity. 



Cristina Dias de Magalhães was born in 1979 in Luxembourg, she holds a PhD in Fine Arts from University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. She lives and works in Luxembourg and Geneva.

Over the past 15 years, her work has been exhibited in France, Spain, Luxembourg, Portugal, Tunisia, and China.

In 2016 she published her essay "Vu(es) des dos: La photographie - espace d'identité et de création (L'Harmattan, Paris)”, in which she displays the exploration of her identity through her body and photography. She uncovers a hidden world in a sensitive and personal way from the vantage point of the human back. Her photographic point of view and research demonstrate a unique approach to explore the human body and being through different ways of observing and perceiving.

In 2019, she displayed her series "Embody" during the European Month of Photography in Luxembourg and in 2020 during the Salon Turbulences in Paris (France). Her new project “Instincts. Same but different” will be shown in 2020 at the Imago Lisboa Festival (Portugal) and at the Centre d’Art Nei Liicht in Dudelange (Luxembourg).