Around the World: Lawrence Weiner at Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art

Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art gallery brings Lawrence Weiner to Lisbon in Around the World, an exhibition that shares its name with a work made in 2020 by the artist, whose intention is to think about location based on an imaginary line of reference, from which all places, beings or things, meet – the equator.

The artist displays works that are geographical statements on location in relation to the equator, the line that divides the Earth into two hemispheres. PLACED ABOVE THE EQUATOR/COLOCADO ACIMA DO EQUADOR – it’s important to underline the term «placed», which points to the randomness of location, as if it were a common diagnosis made in relation to the world (geographical, political, social or material). That or what is above, below to the left or to the right of the equator, located according to the conceptual line that divides the world. Bartomeu Marí writes in the exhibition text: «The work invites us to be aware of the finitude of the world, of our freedom and desire to move.» Affirmative sentences, with strong and contrasting colours, displayed on the gallery’s white walls, in English and Portuguese, that remind us of our own relationship with location.

«The artist has stated that his works’ creation is not site-specific but will be welcomed and understood in a specific context», Bartomeu Marí claims. All the works will be understood in different ways depending on the context, but this is an exhibition whose concept is based, perhaps solely, on the context-centered difference. This exhibition could be presented anywhere in the world, but would that the be reality of Western artistic creation? A work is not site-specific when it was not conceived especially for a venue. But, when we talk about the rooms that may be excluded from the exhibition network, is the Northern Hemisphere’s art scene not exclusive to the Northern Hemisphere?

Around the World is the chance to see Lawrence Weiner’s work – a remarkable artist in the conceptual art context of the 1960s – through a disruptive work that questions contemporary existence itself. We remember Declaration of Intent, one of Weiner’s most recognised works about his intentions, while we see the most recent exhibition in Lisbon. And we think about the assertiveness of a visual work in the current media context of Western society. To be or not to be seen is the most recent version of being or not being, to exist or not exist, to be or not be before something or someone who recognises us, who makes us real.

Around the World is on view at Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art until October 30.

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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