Side Facing the Wind: Silvia Bächli at Fidelidade Arte until November 26 and at Culturgest Porto from December 18

A breeze on the face, a gust on the body, the hands of the wind making gestures on the skin. In a fluid movement, the instant remains, as the cycle continuously manifests itself in matter as flow and not as a return.

Time is becoming and therefore unrepeatable.

If “all things move and nothing remains the same […] ‘we cannot step into the same river twice’.”[1] In Silvia Bächli, the question of becoming is transmuted into lines, drawing exercises where the white walls of the exhibition room extend the wind beyond the body.

The subtlety and fluidity of the forms mark the instant, the interstice of stories, where the narrative dissipates. Then there is room for the memory of a breath, a summer breeze with an ochre gouache, or the dawn with the brief humidity, a blue-tainted calmness.

In the first room, a forearm lies on the support. Body and base are fragmented images. The forms extend into the realm of imagination. In the adjoining rooms, there is no longer a body and remnants of figuration. It is the lines that prevail, horizontal and vertical brushstrokes on the paper, gestures that take on various scales and that add to the viewer’s perceptive temporal field.

The papers on the walls have different levels, marking rhythms, planes, lines, chromatic punctuations, wind impressions on the skin and transposing it, reaching the atmospheric realm, closer to the sky.

In the last room, the drawing dialogues with sculptures, small plaster objects on a table. Their faceted epidermis is painted with gouache of several colours. Like a human congregation, the action of the wind is projected onto the surfaces: ochres, greys, greens and blues, which are records of the sensory memory of the elements.

In a sense of alterity, Silvia Bächli’s subtlety allows for her involvement in the choice of the next artist on show:[2] Ângelo de Sousa (1938-2011), sculptor of lines and objects, elementary forms. This passage symbolises the subtle movement that goes beyond the surface of the drawing, a breeze that orbits and penetrates the sculptural space of the body.

Side Facing the Wind is on view at Fidelidade Arte until November 26 and opens at Culturgest Porto on December 18.


[1] Allusion to Heraclitus. Excerpt taken from: Plato. (2001). Crátilo. Fragment 402a. Translation from Greek to Portuguese by Maria José Figueiredo. Lisboa: Instituto Piaget.

[2] Side Facing the Wind is the eighth exhibition of the curatorial project Reação em Cadeia, conceived by Delfim Sardo and Bruno Marchand, where the artists are the active force in choosing the following pairs.

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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