Casa: Carlos Bunga at Galeria Vera Cortês

In Casa, alternating images are expressed between the intimacy of the home and the intricate living beings that inhabit the planet. The house acquires a poetic and political side, becoming artistic objects built with precarious materials, which point to the testimony of a perennial world of life.

As we enter the exhibition, several installations bring us closer to the complex bond between human beings and nature. Casa-abrigocasa-casulocasa-ruínacorpo-sem-casa find a medium that persists beyond conquest, a sense of material becoming beyond the anthropos.

In Homeless[1], the plants cover the ruins. The vestige of modernist buildings shows us a world where casa-habitação is an erased remnant. In this work, we move away from a rigid referent associated with a place and dive into the modernist straight line that consumes everything globally. The house succumbs to time. We cannot reconstruct historically what lies behind these ruins, but we suspect that this is the space for reflection that the artist gives us, as the meaning of inhabiting is unravelled in multiple senses, expanding from the intimacy of the being to the planet’s totality. The house is “a public or private space […] a place to love […] [or] to care […] a refuge […] a womb […] a desire […] a right […] a prison […] a space of freedom […] or of encounter [….] a space under construction […] a hut […] a colonized zone […] political space […] temporary exile […] a border […] our body, an ecosystem, a city, a country, the Earth.”[2]

The house is metamorphosed into the multiplicity of houses that we inhabit. The human being expands from the individual to the other, that who surpasses cognoscence and persists in the organic material mixture, coexisting as a cocoon[3] – a shelter for metamorphosis – or as a plant[4] – before and after architecture.

The house is reconstituted as a poetic mediation that goes beyond the geometric space[5], enduring through fragments, such as the sculpture walls made of plants and corrugated cardboard[6] that are at the centre of the exhibition; or even as an inventory of[7] trunks, seeds, inflorescences, stones or bricks.

Home is the animistic worldview[8] present in all matters; which nonetheless challenges the dichotomous sense of a human being who is inside and outside nature.

Taking the myth of Abel and Cain, the nomadic existence absorbs an undefined future, a wandering that would make sense in poetic wandering, but that points here to the corpos-sem-casa, to those whose home is expressed through absence: those who leave the land in search of a better future or to escape war; those who live in the street, in the interstices of the city, unprotected from sun and rain; those who inhabit a corpo-casa[9] and mix with the world.

Casa is at Galeria Vera Cortês until September 4.


[1] Homeless #1#3#5#6 (acrylic on color chromogenic print, 2021).

[2] Excerpt from the exhibition text: Casa, Carlos Bunga, Galeria Vera Cortês, June 24 to September 4, 2021.

[3] Casulo #5IV(sandstone, pencil on tracing paper and paper, tape, 2021).

[4] Mimosa Pudica, drawings from the series Before Architecture, Nature (single channel, color, no sound, loop 6’08’”, 2021).

[5] Allusion to Bachelard, Gaston. (1957/1993). A Poética do Espaço. São Paulo: Editora Martins Fontes.

[6] Moving Wall #1#2#4 and Construcción Pictórica Vertical. Naturaleza (plants, latex, glue on wood and cardboard, 2021).

[7] Natural Objects and Artifacts (mixed media, 2021).

[8] Animism #1#2 (latex and glue on wood, 2021). Animism #3 (latex and glue on ceramics, 2021).

[9] Expression taken from the exhibition text: Casa, Carlos Bunga, Galeria Vera Cortês, June 24 to September 4, 2021.

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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