Lost in sleep twitch

Any leap in the dark has two outcomes: either the courage and adrenaline when discovering the unpredictable or the fear of falling into the unknown, with no foot, no reasoning, and no safety.

Any day has two moments: the one when we are awake and the one when we plunge into sleep, that parallel reality in relation to what we know and understand in the sunlight. In this interstice, a rupture can happen that shows clarity. As someone said, “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in”. In this limbo between being awake or falling asleep, this drop – twitch – is a physiological, emotional, brief, abrupt, and involuntary shock, a muscular discharge that crosses our body and, perhaps, memories, uniting what we have mastered and what we want to unravel.

It may frighten, excite, or serve as a warning, but this spasm is always one more risk on life’s seismographic diagram. Indeed, who wants it to be linear? The unwanted monotony.

And, in that dip before falling asleep, we make a kind of promise:

A gentle decline into the unexplored unknown.

A leap of faith.

A bold immersion to lose our balance momentarily, but without losing ourselves. [1] Finally, we encounter the uncertain contour, that border between what has happened and what will happen, allied in a new possibility.

In this space, Vasco Barata comes into play to underline the turmoil of an uncertain life. At Galeria Fonseca Macedo, Ponta Delgada, the exhibition Sleep Twitch shows us that, along with routine, we are randomly interrupted by violent and unexpected leaps, which add another vertex to the diagram of existence. Through imprecise, diffuse, provisional, and suspended inputs, in a combination between photography and installation, Vasco counterposes objects that dialogue about the various stimuli to which we are subjected; some scares, some warnings, by vagueness or ignorance, that point to various realities of that which we live. For example, the installation Low-level clouds reminds us of the changing landscape, where fabrics naturally placed on the ground are raised to the sky, becoming clouds. In From differentiation to sameness, various mundane objects are placed on a sisal thread, which groups them without criteria. Without individuality, they are only read as a whole. Or The Whisper, the authorial creation of a kind of arrow, whose name is a reference to a whispering transfer of rumours, murmurs that overcome barriers and spaces. A cautious interjection.

In this rearrangement of artefacts, where they acquire a new meaning or distort the obvious, Vasco Barata wants an unsettling reality, where everything is redefined and questioned, like Alice in Wonderland. A leap between wakefulness and sleep. Or, if we wish, a limbo between this world “here” and that infinite world of so many other “there”. A reminder that, to find balance, we have to allow ourselves to get lost and know how to do it.

Sleep Twitch is on show at Galeria Fonseca Macedo, Ponta Delgada, until June 26.


[1] Quoting Søren Kierkegaard To dare is to lose ones footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself.”

Degree in Nutrition by the Faculty of Nutrition and Food Sciences of the University of Porto. She then completed a training course in Photography at the Portuguese Institute of Photography in Oporto. Until now she has worked in the production, communication and development of educational programmes in photography and visual arts festivals - Encontros da Imagem in Braga and Fotofestiwal in Lodz (Poland). She also collaborated with Porto/Post/Doc: Film & Media Festival and Curtas Vila do Conde - International Film Festival. More recently, she was one of the people responsible for the curatorial project of the exhibition AEIOU: Os Espacialistas em Pro(ex)cesso, developed in Colégio das Artes, University of Coimbra. She is currently attending the second year of the Master’s in Curatorial Studies at the same University, while doing an internship and participating in projects connected to Arquipélago - Contemporary Arts Centre, on the island of São Miguel (Azores).

Subscreva a nossa newsletter!

Aceito a Política de Privacidade

Subscribe Umbigo

4 issues > €25

(free shipping to Portugal)