Caged: Alexandre Baptista at Galeria Sete
Caged, Alexandre Baptista’s solo exhibition, is at Galeria Sete, in Coimbra, until June 9. The artist presents several paintings created in parallel to a publication, thought up and produced during the pandemic.
In the creative process of his most recent works, Alexandre Baptista uses various photographs from a North American archive. They are black and white images of abandoned landscapes. Wide spaces with human traces – houses or roads – abandoned and forgotten in the interior of the country. «Underlining the opening of doors, windows, grids or perspectives, and firmed in an imaginary marked by the idea of emptiness and the reference to a suspended time, the images belong to a past period and place, vaguely indefinite», says Sérgio Fazenda Rodrigues in the exhibition text.
Hans Ulrich Obrist mentions in Ways of Curating the French artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster’s position on exhibitions: «For her, exhibitions are a way to resist the pressure towards an ever more uniform experience of time and space, by keeping the visitor in the art moment a little longer». The artist’s curatorial awareness lies in the manipulation of notions of time related to the works and space in the exhibition context. In a period similar to Groundhog Day, Alexandre Baptista presents a series, a work that repeats itself although it is produced individually.
In conversation with the artist, the question of human estrangement becomes a clear-cut interest in the production of these works. Caged is the consequence of a solitary and introspective work. The definition of the word that is in the name of the exhibition is incorporated in all the works, a vinyl caption found at the bottom of the paintings. Concepts of painting, photography, language and architecture are used by the artist in the composition of a series that represents, in his words, the repeatability of time. Organic backgrounds, photography, geometric shapes that refer to simplified plans of closed venues, and also the Caged caption – the artist explores the tension between notions of filling and emptiness, of caging and wide spaces, between the organic and the geometric.