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Exhibition Maré [Tide], at Galeria Filomena Soares

A collective exhibition at Galeria Filomena Soares was inaugurated on March 24. The exhibition, entitled Maré, occupies three rooms of the building, and is curated by João Silvério.

This exhibition’s intent is, based on the group of artists represented by this gallery, to find bonds between them and retrieve works seldom displayed.

In a wide space, and endowed with a high right foot, the gallery shows several generations of artists and exhibits pieces that show a long creative period between 1980 and 2017.

The works exhibited belong to Rui Chaves, Helena Almeida, Dan Graham, João Penalva, Igor Jesus, Carlos Motta, Bruno Pacheco, Letícia Ramos, Rodrigo Oliveira, Andreia Almeida, Pilar Albarracín, Shirin Neshat, Pedro Barateiro, João Tabarra, Miguel Rio Branco, Kiluanji Kia Henda and Ângela Ferreira.

The curator takes advantage of the close proximity of the gallery with the Tagus river, and, with that, he explores the relationship between the sea and the river. He summons the poetry of Sophia de Mello Breyner, particularly the poem Mar dos Meus Olhos, to instil an idea of an uninterrupted flow present in the artists’ imagination. As if each movement of the sea, each “back and forth, was manifested in an “inexorably different” way. That is how the connection between the various parts that emerge throughout the space is evoked, abiding by an artistic practice that unfolds itself problematizing its own internal process, as well as the transformations and cultural and social differences.

In this clarification, the work exposed, of the different artists, appears to be unified based on the assumption of an idea of continuity “beyond time itself”, as Sophia’s poem mentions.

In the group of artists present in the gallery, part of the newest generation, the so-called generation of the second decade of the new century, is the artist Igor Jesus. He displays the pieces Franco Merli, 2017; Claudia Cardinali, 2017; and Peso Morto (2016).

Most pieces of this artist juxtapose framed negatives in large format with suitcases, leathers, or clothing fragments, evoking the movie Salò, or the 120 days of Sodom, by Pier Paolo Pasolini.

Igor Jesus has always been intrigued by what would have happened to the actors after they portrayed the role of sex slaves in Pasolini’s movie. He then started the arduous task of building a body of work around this idea, even visiting Italy and getting in touch with the actors, notably Umberto Chessari, who gave him fragments of objects, like the black shoes, or the costume design, both present in the movie.

The fragments of shoes, placed on the gallery’s floor, are broken in half, and open, as if they were a piece of fruit or a breadcrumb, emphasizing the previous presence of the body. From which the casing is the only thing that remains, after consumed. The artist is interested in the colonization of the body, recalling the Baudrillard’s quote, “the body is the most desirable object of consumption”.

The perfect absence of the body inside the shoe reveals the body as an element endowed with depth and density. Based on what Cunha e Silva would say about the body, “we have taken the depth of this body right to the surface, in an attempt to visualize the interior, the thickness of the body became the film that supports its image”. Indeed, in the pieces of Igor Jesus, we simultaneously visualize this presence of the body, turned into absence, and the superficial image, represented by the large format negatives, with inverted images of parts of the body, shreds of faces, like mouths or noses, in close-up. A body which, in “ruins”, reshapes itself, as Foster would say, as an automaton, or a machine. Serving the purposes of a more demanding structuring, lined by the capitalist production of consumption.

The work of Igor Jesus appears to gravitate between this volume of the body and the fragment. In the absence of that body, which, by showing its space, strengthens the presence, once occupied by the body, and simultaneously its elusive nature. As Cunha e Silva would say, giving place to a bodygraphy, instead of a bodyology, with that same body having lost its place.

The artist Andreia Santana, in turn, displays Tratteggio. 2017 and Rigatino. 2017, five pieces in brass, coming from a series production of jagged plates used in tombs. The parts are still tied to each other, setting a gold standard, and evoking the theme of mechanical reproduction.

Close to the piece of Santana and Igor Jesus, one finds the photos of Rodrigo Oliveira, under the title À procura da utopia, from 2014/2015. The artist pursues the legacy of modernism, in particular using the architectural work of Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer as subject matter. The photographs exhibited were taken when the artist received a scholarship from Fundação Botin, in Spain. The scholarship enabled him to: “make two trips to two cities that had been designed from scratch”. First Brasilia, designed by Niemeyer and Costa, then the city of Chandigarh, India, designed by Le Corbusier and his cousin Jeanneret. The artist wa not interested in favoring one material over another, or one half over the other. Photography also works as a support, or a mean, but to communicate or express atmospheres and ideas of the artist.

Carla Carbone was born in Lisbon, 1971. She studied Drawing in Ar.co and Design of Equipment at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Lisbon. Completed his Masters in Visual Arts Teaching. She writes about Design since 1999, first in the newspaper O Independente, then in editions like Anuário de Design, arq.a magazine, DIF, Parq. She also participates in editions such as FRAME, Diário Digital, Wrongwrong, and in the collection of Portuguese designers, edited by the newspaper Público. She collaborated with illustrations for Fanzine Flanzine and Gerador magazine. (photo: Eurico Lino Vale)

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