Francisco Osório: 3 Fragments

Francisco Osório was born in 1987 in Lisbon. He studied architecture, drawing, painting and photography in Portugal, Italy and the United Kingdom. From these different fields, a work was born based on an experimental process of collection, cataloguing and representation of space and the objects that materialize it. The artist presents his new solo exhibition Along The Line And Out, at Espaço Real, Lisbon, curated by Diogo Ramalho.

This text is the result of an informal conversation between artist and curator, materializing itself in three fragments. Rewritten in the first person, they are depictions of the artist’s career and work.


I – Space, architecture and an unknown city

(spatiality and experimentation)

I’ve always had a strong relationship with space. Maybe I studied architecture with the intention of manipulating it. But I’ve always hesitated between architecture and the fine arts. Looking back, I come to the conclusion that I remained undecided until I moved to London. Entering Chelsea College of Arts in 2015 was the beginning of a continuous process of growth and my current work comes from that. Contrary to what I ever imagined, that’s when I started to explore all the techniques and media that were presented to me. This made me question several and rethink them in other ways. It was a period of transformation. Suddenly, I noticed that I was living there, surrounded by new codes of a city that was practically unknown to me. Everything caught my attention, and I wanted to quickly take over everything I saw.

I started spontaneously with the mobile phone and immediately afterwards I had the need to capture in different ways all those compositions that were unknown to me. That was when photography emerged in my work.


II – A table, a bathtub, a birdcage

(work and archive methodology)

I’ve always had a strong relationship with objects. I collect various objects that I find in the street and take them to my studio. I put them on shelves or spread them on the floor. I imagine that they talk to each other. I weigh them, photograph them, create a file for each. I let them rest, I allow them to look at each other, and then I leave the scene. I reenter on a certain day and interact with them spontaneously, I group them together and give them new interpretations. I feel then that they can end up in the hands of someone else, that they have already fulfilled their role and that my action on them is complete. I like the idea of having objects circulating, disclosing the action I had on them. Where did this fascination for objects come from? I think it all started when I was little, in my grandparents’ basement. In all the series of my work, I end up returning to that basement, and I always find something there: a table, a bathtub, a birdcage.


III – ‘Along The Line And Out’

(multidisciplinarity and exhibition)

I’ve always had a strong relationship with that pool. I recently returned to that space, to where I learned to swim. I found it completely abandoned. I remember thinking about my childhood, learning to swim, where everything was perfect. I had everything ahead of me and now nothing was the same. I felt the need to observe, to capture, to appropriate that space again.

My focus is not to portray the space that is there. Rather, it is the way in which it allows me to reach new understandings, to step into another world. What interests me is the decontextualization that I create, the possibility of arriving at new questions. The various means I use overlap and complement each other. The crudeness of space in photography joins the performative action in the video. On the other hand, painting opens other paths to greater abstraction, it is liberating.


The exhibition Along The Line And Out is at Espaço Real, in Lisbon, from 19 September to 19 October.


By Diogo Ramalho

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