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Os Outros Homens by Luísa Mota

The solo exhibition Os Outros Homens by Luísa Mota at the Galeria Nuno Centeno, in Porto, presents different artistic practices that allow us to reflect on contemporaneity, particularly the effects of globalisation, the post-digital world and the conception of an idyllic lifestyle, a virtual and ephemeral myth, spread by various mass media outlets.

In Os Outros Homens, at the Galeria Nuno Centeno, Luísa Mota reveals her imaginary, articulated by extreme rurality, exotic mythologies and absurd visions of sci-fi films. She presents several fabric screens, which include images taken from the internet, some with autobiographical elements, to later deconstruct them in an obsessive and performative gesture, using pen ink and other materials on the textile. A fingerprint on the fabric, which works like several computer screens, with images of groups of businessmen, offices of major enterprises, sportsmen in gyms, athletes in marathons, police vans and dreamlike beaches. But, in these works, there is also vulnerability, seen in the face of a young woman, repeated throughout the series. Side by side with abstract works, landscape-images, details of Os Outros Homens that contrast with Os Outros Homens of the contiguous representations. In the centre of the exhibition, we encounter several heads (a mould of the visual artist Silvestre Pestana), which metaphorically positions the artists as essential elements in contemporary life.

Then, Luísa Mota projects a video, where she approaches dreams, mythologies and mysticism, an assemblage marked by close shots focused on the land, water reflections, mirrors, shining materials and shadows of hair being blown by the wind, with wide shots of a man with his eyes shut, a nose, a panting torso covered with earth, a hand cleaning the dust from the skin and a rocky surface. There are also wide shots of a man wandering through a landscape with volcanic land and sea. Os Homens Invisíveis are also in this sci-fi scenario, intensified by the soundtrack.

Luísa Mota was born in Porto in 1984, where she lives and works. She completed her degree in Fine Arts at the Goldsmiths and obtained her Masters in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art. She exhibits her work since 2007, in collective and individual exhibitions and in performing arts events, nationally and internationally, where she explores various artistic means. In 2013, she was part of the ninth edition of the performance exhibition Verbo, in São Paulo, with I believe in good things coming, where the artist and a group of volunteers paraded through the city streets, dressed in the costumes of the performance Homens Invisíveis. In 2014, at the opening of the third Bahia Biennale, she presented Genesis e Genîs, with over 80 participants. In 2015, in Porto, she recreated Homens Invisíveis, but also the sculpture and urban performance Monumento Invisível, which wandered around the city. The visual artist considers her practice a social experience, between the individual and the collective. Her goal is to create a self-consciousness exercise, allowing the viewer to explore their perceptions about behaviour, belief and the spiritual dimension, while trying to elevate their unconscious relationships to rituals. After the performative moments, and without distinguishing between objects and documentation, she keeps what is left of these acts and works on them again. New forms arise, often through video, photography, sound or drawing.

The exhibition Os Outros Homens by Luísa Mota is at Galeria Nuno Centeno, in Porto, together with Conversa Inventada by André Sousa, until 12 July 2020.

Annie Martins (Porto, 1990) co-founder of the curatorial collective Hera, is a master's student in Art Studies - Museological and Curatorial Studies at FBAUP. She was also a researcher at the CHIC Project, supporting the integration of artist films in the Portuguese National Cinema Plan and in the Online Catalog of Films and Videos of Portuguese Artists. Graduated in Cinema by ESTC-IPL (2007-2010) and in Heritage Management by ESE-IPP (2013-2017) collaborates as Art Director in fictions and television programs, and recently started writing for Umbigo Magazine.

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