Fake Sun, Fake Eyes, by Elisa Pône

Galeria Quadrum possesses a unique architecture. The two large parallel walls are covered in glass, creating a kind of aquarium that contacts with the outside. Elisa Pône, in Fake Sun, Fake Eyes, proposes an original work, cantered on the physical qualities of the gallery – “An opportunity for visitors to embark on a journey that is not limited to the objects on display, but is guided by a multidimensional interactive experience” – as written by the curator Estelle Nabeyrat.

The “journey” is led by the work Memory Flood. For fifteen minutes, alone and positioned in the middle of the gallery, I embarked on the voyage proposed by the artist. The space is filled by the sound coming from the speakers, housed in shell-shaped ceramic sculptures, fixed on seven different pillars. Sounds of birds and wind create a new sensorial dimension, which connects with the outside landscape. Through the glass, I observed life outside: children on the swing, couples drinking coffee at Quiosque dos Coruchéus, the sculpture near the library. Swayed by the sound work, my perception of the outside world around me acquired new contours. The porous relationship between inner life – thoughts, affections – and the outer life experienced by my senses became evident. The two other structures of the same work strengthened this perception. A plaster sculpture crosses the gallery from both sides reaching the outside and a light robot travels through the space in erratic movements, also reaching the space outside the gallery.

The work Blurry Shades is a series of interventions with smoke bombs in the windows. A disturbance is created between the exterior and interior landscapes, the boundaries between inside and outside are smoked again by the artist. Questioning the conditions of human experience in the age of social distancing, one of the works is conceived to be experienced remotely. Available online during the exhibition period, the video Como uma luva shows a security expert assessing the gallery space, checking alarms and detectors. A smoke, emitted by the security system, fills the space and the expert vanishes. In a tribute to Dulce D’Agro, founder of the gallery, the expert’s discourse highlights the physical qualities of the space, “it becomes a metaphor for the added value of the venue, where air and smoke turn into something else”. Finally, the artist moves Teresa Quirino’s composition, usually located on the stairs in front of the gallery entrance, into the interior. In an attentive action on the history of the exhibition space, Elisa gives a new narrative to the sculpture.

Fake Sun, Fake Eyes proposes to the visitor a multidimensional experience of displacement. The gallery expands between the virtual and the physical presence, between the interior and the exterior, the past and the present.

The exhibition runs until 31 January 2021, at the Municipal Galleries | Quadrum Gallery, Lisbon.

Maíra Botelho (1991, Brazil) has a multidisciplinary education within the fields of visual communication, arts, philosophy and performance. She worked as a graphic designer in Brazil after graduating at PUC-MG, having also studied arts at Escola Guignard – UEMG and at Faculdade de Belas Artes da Universidade de Lisboa. She recently finished a Post-graduation in Aesthetics – Philosophy at Nova Universidade de Lisboa.

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