“The world is the infinite curve that touches (…)”

Part of the Ciclo Museu das Obsessões, curated by Ana Anacleto, No More Racing in Circles – Just Pacing within Lines of a Rectangle, by the artist Tris Vonna-Michell, is an exhibition that occupies the CAV, placing the viewers before countless references that take them from point to point, entering a larger constellation imposed by the artist in the exhibition venue. This is stated by the curator in the exhibition text.

There is a deep examination of the idea of image and language, and how they intertwine and alter our perception. On the one hand, there are imagistic (photographs, videos, films) and sound representations that lead us to a certain narrative and, on the other, these images also have a different support that intends to communicate something to us: Tris Vonna-Michell explores different supports to present the image, from slide projection to the LCD screen. There is a clear, possible reading of the material component that sustains images and sounds that appear randomly, of the ability to see the world with the necessary inattention, in an apparent getting nowhere. That could be it. But, looking at the title of the exhibition, we know that the artist wants us to fold that path, easily circular, like a rectangle. Perhaps we can wander through the exhibition as we do in life. The fold as a breaking of an incautious infinity, not as a rejection of the past, but as perpendicular courage – the rectangle should arise after the circle and the circle after the rectangle – we have reached the end and life should remain almost like a nameless geometric form. Perhaps this is Giordano Bruno’s invitation, with the idea that the movements “explain-implicate-complicate form the triad of the fold”[1] , as stated in the work entitled The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque by Gilles Deleuze. Taking some of these ideas, I can say that this exhibition is an infinite sum of points of view that transform the world, creating new spaces that are as legitimate as the life of those who see them and therefore create them. Faced with the reductive perception of reality, let us use these intersections of events to create a real.

Also at the CAV, but in the Project Room, we find A Temperança e o Louco by Catarina de Oliveira, also part of the Ciclo Museu das Obsessões, also curated by Ana Anacleto.

In a clear allegory, Catarina de Oliveira explores various references from everyday life, in a systematic search for references based on sustainability, surfing and yoga, for example.

We see two works on the wall that point to a possible definition of each word in the exhibition’s title. There are also two large paintings suspended from the ceiling, which use the titles A Temperança ad O Louco, bringing together “just the set of symbolic characteristics attributed to each of the [Tarot] cards in question”.[2] In the first, there is a natural idea of reflection, balance. In the second, there is an idea of a restart, of zero, of egg – ideas associated with the Tarot card, allowing us to conclude this holistic reflection, as we seek to understand something in its entirety. The egg and the zero: circular bodies that, in the shadow of Deleuze’s philosophy, generate world.

No More Racing in Circles – Just Pacing within Lines of a Rectangle, by Tris Vonna-Michell, and A Temperança e o Louco, by Catarina de Oliveira, are at the CAV until July 4.


[1] Deleuze, Gilles. (1991). A dobra: Leibniz e o barroco. Campinas, SP: Papirus. p. 42

[2] Excerpt from the exhibition room sheet

Daniel Madeira (Coimbra, 1992) has a degree in Artistic Studies from the Faculty of Arts of the University of Coimbra and a Master's in Curatorial Studies from the Colégio das Artes at the same university. Between 2018 and 2021, he coordinated the Exhibition Space and the Educational Project of the Águeda Arts Center. Currently, he collaborates with the Círculo de Artes Plásticas de Coimbra (CAPC).

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