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A Decade that Exploded and Eixo-Próprio: Two exhibitions at Rialto6

Faced with the masses of information and the acceleration of the cycles of communication and capital, how can we outline the movements that give meaning to the most recent decade of the 21st century?

The deluge of images, the complexity of their relationships, make us illusorily believe in an eternal present and in an apparent proximity that contains an indestructible distance. In A Decade that Exploded, an exhibition for the Reena Spaulings Fine Art NY/LA gallery, the aim is to find traces of the real in the exacerbated display of images. The thread running through the works presented is the introduction of punctuations that interrupt narratives associated with imagistic consumption devices.

This reflection gives us clues about the media structures that define economies of power, as is the case of the works 1 Escaping is just engaging in another platform (2019) and 7 Media creates the world it claims to merely show us (2019) by Georgie Nettel, or even Donate to the Tate (The Beatles) (2015) by Merlin Carpenter. On the other hand, it is important to underline the mechanisms of construction of human memory versus technological devices, such as the work Being and/or Time (2013-2016) by Ken Okiishi, where the artist presents a digital diary of 24 frames per second, all the images having been captured on his iPhone over three years in New York. Or New Models Decade Brain (2020), a chronological compilation of relevant world events (between January 2010 and December 2014), together with personal reflections by Bjarne Melgaard.

Underpinning the reflective frameworks on hyper-information/hyper-communication, and their attendant mechanisms of surveillance and power, are also works by Claire Fontaine, Jak Ritger, Juliana Huxtable, Klara Linden, Loretta Fahrenholz, Larry Johnson, Henrik Olesen, Heji Shin and Reena Spaulings.

Together with A Decade that Exploded, Rialto6 presents the solo exhibition Eixo-Próprio by Pedro Barateiro. The artist focuses on the relations of the body of the artist and the viewer as external/internal media, in which these can materialise in non-linear narratives, where image and word intersect in a poetic and political sense. One example is 82 poems (2001-2008), a set of videos conceived without a script and presented at Rialto6 on the days of the exhibition. The artist also presents three works: the installation The Astronaut Metaphor (2013), Teoria da Fala – Orelha-Objeto (2008), and a sculpture that gives the exhibition its title: Eixo-Próprio (2021). Between images and discourses, Barateiro explores the absorption and unconscious reproduction of the models that subject us to their visibility.

In both exhibitions at Rialto6, «the panoptic eye that sees everything» is laid bare by the artists from their own systemic interior, introducing spaces of freedom within digital, political and media chains.

A Decade that Exploded and Eixo-Próprio are on view at Rialto6, in Lisbon, until July 30.

Margarida Alves (Lisbon, 1983). Artist, PhD student in Fine Arts (FBAUL). Researcher by the University of Lisbon. Degree in Sculpture (FBAUL, 2012), Master in Art and Glass Science (FCTUNL & FBAUL, 2015), Degree in Civil Engineering (FCTUNL, 2005). She is a resident artist in the collective Atelier Concorde. Collaborates with national and foreign artists. Her work has an interdisciplinary character and focuses on themes associated with origin, otherness, and historical, scientific and philosophical constructions of reality.

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