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Abrupt: Dust Devices & Berru at Passos Manuel

Abrupt, an audiovisual performance which is the result of a collaboration between Cláudio Oliveira (sound artist), Berru (art collective) and Mera (record label), was presented at Passos Manuel last May, selling out both sessions.

The project brings together different media, starting with a sound presentation and rapidly developing into a light performance that allows us to see figures moving on stage. Sound, smoke, moments of light, moments of darkness, construction of a ruin. Berru moves around the stage while carrying grey bricks, arranging them to set up a shattered scenario, almost as if it were an abandoned space, marked by the rawness of the objects chosen. In a second stage, we come across something that appears to be a military formation. The aligned bricks face the audience as if ready for an invasion. Finally, they unite in a cohesive construction, a conclusion to the constructive narrative.

There is no distinction between the collective elements. They move as anonymous figures, dressed in black, giving body to the narrative while abstracting us from the fact that they have a body. There is an organic element between the urban materials: the naturalness with which they work, how they complement each other, through the sound and the scenography: the performance is mesmerizing due to its fluidity.

I confess that I have felt increasingly concerned about Portuguese cultural identity since I realised that all popularly consumed culture is Anglo-Saxon. Whether it’s music, cinema or TV shows, we are avid consumers of a self-proclaimed «global» identity. But the disconnect with our identity centre puts us in crisis as a group. Abrupt is Porto. Cláudio Oliveira, Berru and Mera are Porto and remind us that Porto’s art scene is a contemporary creation space, which does not follow trends, evolving according to its historical line. A project that brings together different artists, various media of construction and deconstruction, as well as different concepts of what it means to occupy a space in contemporary art.

We look forward to the next exhibition date.

Phd Student of Philosophy at the Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences of the Catholic University of Braga, she has a Master's in Critical Curatorship and Theories of Art by the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon and a degree in Plastic Arts – Painting by the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Porto. In 2018 she launches the first issue of Dose magazine of which she is co-founder and editor, and in 2020 she founds the studio space for artists o.estúdio in Bonfim, Porto. She currently works as an artist, freelance curator and writer, having already contributed articles to several publications.

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