Hangover + be part of chaos, by Carla Filipe, at the Galeria Francisco Fino

In her most recent exhibition, Carla Filipe transports the city into the gallery. Using codes that reveal the common idea of the urban centre, Filipe’s fictitious scenery is chaotic, uncomfortable and fascinating.

This game between the scenic side and the context in which it is inserted is nothing new in her work. In the recent exhibition Amanhã não há arte (2019), Carla Filipe spoke about being an artist, in an alert to the erasure of the subject-author in the artistic, political and social system, right from inside an institution – the MAAT. In that space, the artist revealed her sagacity in the contextual positioning of her work.

This time, the movement is actually the opposite, as the focus is on the city (in its phenomenology). And, also, in the mutual relationship that the cities establish with the subjects that occupy them and with the instituted power that regulates them.

The large strips of suspended cloth have a monumental profile. Although with various sizes, positions and dispositions, the whole set asks the body to participate and establishes routes. They are “building-paintings”, which point to a state of degradation. But, above all, to the record of the transience of time. The registered marks accumulate, overlap and cancel each other out. Although apparently agile, they are dense and difficult to decode. Like a city, the number of visual stimuli is excessive and their wholeness is not processable. There are glimpses left: an inaccurate image or phrase, recorded amidst the chaos; ideas and voices that echo through the paintings and the city are retained.

In this series of works, there are several references to the history of Oporto and its daily life. Clips from magazines and newspapers, serigraphic images or urban patterns are used – even though the paintings are not hostages to their factual identification. On the other hand, the predominance of the word summons graffiti as an expression of marginality (E se os marginais não fossem marginais?, 2019).

Hangover + be part of chaos vibrates with the violence of the constant and oscillating movements of conquest and destruction. They are visible in the once natural landscape and in the urban structures created upon them. Perhaps that is why the plastic singularity of some works is absorbed by the whole, with the same ferocity of the city.

Carla Filipe’s building-paintings create the illusion of a collective, multiauthor place, where time cumulatively registers gestures and ideas, forming a landscape that is (only) partially tangible.

Until February 29 at the Galeria Francisco Fino, in Marvila.

Francisco Correia (b. 1996) lives and works in Lisbon. He studied Painting at Faculdade de Belas-Artes at Universidade de Lisboa and finished the post-graduation on Art Curatorship at Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas at Universidade Nova de Lisboa. He has been writing for and about exhibitions, while simultaneously developing his artistic project.

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