Tela Habitada

Helena Almeida’s “Tele Habitada” is a haunting, shadowy work.

Here at the Daily Dot, we swap GIF images with each other every morning. Now we’re looping you in. In the Morning GIF, we feature a popular—or just plain cool—GIF we found on Reddit, Canvas, or elsewhere on the Internet.

It could be a black-and-white outtake of a horror film, or a series of tableaux of a Romantic poet’s dream, but “Tela Habitada,” or “Inhabited Canvas,” is Portuguese artist Helena Almeida’s photographic ode to feminine singularity. With a background in conceptual art and the neo-concrete movement of Brazil, Almeida has spent her life’s work articulating the restraints of society, preconception, and gender on individual identity.

With its shadowy, nightgowned inhabitant, claustrophobic wood frame (a window? a picture frame?), uncertain lighting, and palpable canvas constraints, the sequence of photographs in “Tela Habitada” eloquently expresses the tensions between the self and the image for the 20th century woman.

The original sequence of photos was uploaded to Imgur a month ago, where it has garnered 5,412 views; it was posted to Reddit about three days later, where it has languished nigh undiscovered, with only 46 up votes. And a few hours ago, the Tumblr artist in charge of DoBeDo turned it into a couple of GIFs. We prefer the second, more nuanced version, which has 14 notes, but the first version is here, for the curious. When a GIF breaks the Third Wall, you know it’s a GIF for the ages.

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