Pedro Valdez Cardoso

Pedro Valdez Cardoso has been enjoying a career filled with exhibitions and productions, having several of his endeavours as part of multiple national collections. His attention to the archaeology of the places and memories allows him to engage in exhibitions whose narratives and curatorial lines exceed the boundaries of art and embraces peripheral visions, deemed necessary to regenerate representations and practices. History, the contexts, the identity, all these elements work as materials for the effort of the artist, sometimes bordering the theatrical ethnography, the coloured masks and breathtaking gestures and sculptures.

The artist now has his work being shown in two different exhibitions: one at Biblioteca Pública e Arquivo Regional João José da Graça, Horta, Azores; whilst the other can be found at Mu.ZEE in Belgium, alongside several other national and international artists.

In the Azores, Prazer do Espírito e do Olhar [Pleasure of the spirit and of the eye] is based on the Arquipélago collection in order to show what one assumes to be a close connection between the eye and the spirit, a bond explored in minutiae by Merleau-Ponty. In Belgium, the work of Valdez Cardoso is part of the local history of the city of Oostende, which is helpful to outline a parallel with the works of Téodore Géricault, The Raft of Medusa (1818) and Art is (not) lonely (1986) of Jan Fabre. Despite the chronological distance between the two pieces, contemporaneity demands an overlap of chronological, timeless planes, one that allows seeing both as contemporary in how they approach relevant issues to the human condition, in particular matters of departing and arriving, of staying and restlessness, of comfort and solitude. In other words, the raft is a referencing point to launch a broad discussion on the city, Europe, the world, but also on art, history, the existing communities.

Prazer do Espírito e do Olhar is being exhibited at Biblioteca Pública e Arquivo Regional João José da Graça, Horta, Azores, until December 31. The Raft. Art is (not) Lonely can be seen at Mu.ZEE, Oostende, Belgium, until April 15. Pedro Valdez Cardoso is joined by two other Portuguese artists, Julião Sarmento e Jorge Molder in this exhibition.

José Rui Pardal Pina (n. 1988) has a master's degree in architecture from I.S.T. in 2012. In 2016 he joined the Postgraduate Course in Art Curation at FCSH-UNL and began to collaborate in the Umbigo magazine. Curator of Dialogues (2018-), an editorial project that draws a bridge between artists and museums or scientific and cultural institutions with no connection to contemporary art.

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