Materiais para fazer a cidade, by Pedro Sequeira
Pedro Sequeira studied jewellery and mineralogy and that is palpable in his work. His jewellery pieces are particularly keen on details, whilst also showing the rawness (in a broader sense) of minerals, of stones, in their texture.
The exhibition at Espaço Camões from Livraria Sá da Costa in Chiado shows a hybrid effort. It also summons external elements to the interior. After all, the exterior is we think when a city comes to mind. Because the interior of a house can be anywhere. By opening it to what is outside, he summons the urban, the dwelling space and the common experience. However, Materiais para fazer a cidade [Materials to make the city] is found in a place that can be a family residence. But it is not a traditional exhibition as well, nor is it commonly assembled. Pedro Sequeira’s works are unique, juxtaposing different subjects and turning them into different materials, shown in different ways. In Construções Precárias (2018), one assumes the presence of the nail where the drawing is hanging, the clip that holds it, or the frame that allows us to enjoy the three-dimensional aspect, which we know not whether it is a drawing or a sculpture. But that does not matter to the artist and, after all we are in a house-turned-bookstore, which is an exhibition space, offices included.
Oscar Niemeyer said in an interview, on one of his works, that archs are not important, the space between them is what matters. Cities are also made of emptiness. In Materiais para fazer a cidade, Pedro Sequeira has room for the void, to have it filled with experiences. It’s a space that materializes itself from one work to another, whether it is small or large. It is a space that is part of one or both works, or of those that make sense. Series of drawings perfectly aligned with each other, like Desenhos para Gonçalo (2018), work as patterns, almost like a tile panel.
This path has no proper end. There is a surprise and there is always matter in motion, an initiatory movement. Overlapping pieces of wood, such as Objeto para o pé (2018), or trunks obstructing passages like in Corte (2018), surprise us. We need to be attentive, because the details make all the difference. There are works of different dimensions that work the texture as if it were a textile and old materials like clay. There is also ecology and reuse, just like in a city. The perfect, futuristic city is self-sustaining, reused from the ruins of ancient cities, because the ones we build are too perishable and uncomfortable to live. For Sequeira, the city is made of this debris from old materials that come together. They belong to Hypatia, Eutropia, Despina or Sophronia. It is the invisible cities of Italo Calvino in which Sequeira found the stones, trunks and cards to build this idea of a city of his own, but one that becomes ours as we walk through the exhibition. “The number of things that could be read in a small piece of flat, empty wood was overwhelming Kublai; and Marco Polo was already talking about ebony woods, the log rafts that flowed down the rivers, the piers, the women in the windows…”
Materiais para a fazer a cidade: in a piece of wood, the world is left to our imagination.
(Until 24 November, at Praça de Luís de Camões 22, 4th floor, Lisbon)
 Calvino, Italo, Invisible Cities. Editorial Teorema, Lisboa, 10th edition, 2006, p.136