O mundo que nos vê – Espaço MIRA

As it did in 2020, Espaço MIRA, under a new lockdown, puts its programming on the web, with the cycle o mundo que nos vê. Curated by José Maia and João Terras, the online exhibition has a weekly programming, accessible to everyone, during February on Saturdays and Sundays, at 3:00 pm, on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Espaço MIRA website platforms. Based on interdisciplinarity, the programming of the cycle o mundo que nos vê combines several artistic languages: performance, video art, cinema, photography, music and literature. The extensive program of this curatorial project targeting the web has more than 20 multidisciplinary creators, national and foreign, from several areas and generations, presenting heterogeneous works. Artists like André Feitosa, André Sousa, António Lago, Dori Nigro, Edicleison Freitas, Felícia Teixeira, João Brojo, João Sousa Cardoso, Joaku Sotavento, Manuel Santos Maia, Paulo Mendes, Sara Rodrigues e Rodrigo Camacho, Raúl Hidalgo, Susana Chiocca, among others, address contemporary issues such as identity, gender, environment, sustainability, art and politics.

Continuing the programming that Espaço MIRA has been developing since 2013, in Campanhã, in the eastern side of Porto, o mundo que nos vê imposes itself – in the current reality – as an alternative art space. On one hand, it shows the resistance and adaptability of the artistic community with new formats of cultural diffusion. On the other hand, the possibility of programming a virtual artistic event. In conversation with José Maia, artistic director of Espaço MIRA and co-creator of the cycle, o mundo que nos vê was born from the curators’ need to challenge artists (…) one of the worst things was that the lockdown became a creative crisis. Although he claims that nothing replaces the physical experience and contact with people, José Maia recognises the importance and potential of the digital world as a larger space of creation, which is reconnecting us, tying us to each other and the world through a piece of work.

The curator stresses the importance of digital platforms, which are alternatives to experimentation and the dissemination of the work of the artistic community. He also points out that artists are interested in current technologies. For José Maia, artistic intervention allows humanizing the web world through creations – recorded or live – designed specifically for that space: sensitive images, sounds, spoken words and performances.

With the cycle o mundo que nos vê, Espaço MIRA shows us the artists’ look at the world and our existence. It also explores the notion of a broader perspective of a world, which now observes us and in which we are also spectators.

Inaugurated last weekend, the cycle began on January 30 with the video performance Body and Ornament (2019) by Pedro Ruiz. This artist, on January 9, inaugurated his solo exhibition in the galleries of Espaço MIRA. In the video-performance, the artist, in his studio, intervenes in a subtracted body, ornamenting it with objects collected from the landscape.

On January 31, the artist Manuel Santos Maia presented the film É um outro país (2010-2021), a reflection on the dedication and efforts of the creators in Portugal, while highlighting the country’s asymmetry.

Both works are available on the official website of Espaço MIRA.

On the second weekend of the online exhibition o mundo que nos vê, Espaço MIRA’s programming is focused on performance-art, presenting a video-performance and a video-performance-conference. The works address issues related to biodiversity ecology, identity building and gender problematisation. On Saturday, February 6, at 3:00 pm, the duo Sara Rodrigues and Rodrigo Camacho present the video performance Flutuações, Missa pro Defunctis (2019), an unpublished work recorded in Funchal. The artists, wearing protective suits, gas masks and gloves – in a possible match with the current situation in the country’s hospitals – collect samples of organic tissues, rubbish and debris they find in the landscape, giving us back our action, in a dramatic and ironic performance.

 The following day, Sunday, February 7, at the same time, Edicleison Freitas and André Feitosa present the video-performance-conference A MÚMIA – Na Preceptoria Estética para Ressuscitar os Mortos Esquecidos (2021). The work is a dialogue between the dead and memory, both invoked in the immediate field of presence, through a culturalist narrative and an aesthetic figure. We are invited to see the process of transformation of a body while having access to reflection on identity and sexuality.

The following weekend, António Lago and Susana Chiocca present, on Saturday 13 February at 3:00 pm, a video-performance positioned between musical act and staging. The video-performance takes place at António Lago’s house. The duo plays and composes a creative work, made by two artists who came up with the Sala project and now get together once more.

On Sunday, February 14 at 3:00 pm, Dori Nigro and Paulo Emílio present proposals on sexual and gender identity, with video presentations on image, plasticity, text and reflection.

On Saturday, February 20, André Sousa and Paulo Mendes, who had already participated in the 2020 cycle, will present video art works and, on Sunday, February 21, at 3:00 pm, literature will be part of the cycle, relying on a text by the artist, writer, director and director João Sosa Cardoso, to be interpreted by an actress.

On the last Saturday of February, at 3:00 pm, Felícia Teixeira, João Brojo and João Teixeira, who participated in the first cycle online with a movie/diary about the lockdown, continue the project. They present a new movie, developed during the current lockdown, as the second part of the first moment.

On Sunday, February 28, at the same time, the research artists Beatriz Page, Joaku Sotavento and Raúl Hidalgo present video art and video-performance works related to the post-human and public space.

In a vast curatorial programme, Espaço MIRA explores new forms of artistic creation and dissemination, using the digital space to reach the audience. In the online cycle of visual, performing and digital arts of 2021 o mundo que nos vê, José Maia and João Terras have designed a broader and deeper project. They bring together interdisciplinary artists who address issues of identity, ecology, among others. A set of revolutions that the curators consider urgent today.

Mafalda Teixeira, Master’s Degree in History of Art, Heritage and Visual Culture from the Faculty of Letters of the University of Porto. She has an internship and worked in the Temporary Exhibitions department of the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona. During the master’s degree, she did a curricular internship in production at the Municipal Gallery of Oporto. Currently, she is devoted to research in the History of Modern and Contemporary Art, and publishes scientific articles.

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