Ana Beatriz: Ana Vidigal at Balcony

At some point in our lives, we all went through the ritual of choosing objects that belong to houses and spaces that, for some reason, we had to abandon, sell or destroy. During this process, there is always one object more special than others. Our memory or intuition saves some and leaves others behind.

Ana Vidigal faced this challenge with her brothers. She needed more than two years to dismantle her parents’ house. Now, at Balcony, the saved objects appear recontextualised, in an exhibition on memory and time – the great themes of Ana Vidigal’s art. For her, this work is “the memory of what passes between our fingers, what we chose to preserve, what we found in desks with false-bottom drawers or in films from fifty years ago, as well as that which we decided to ‘kill’ definitively[1]. Regarding the title of the exhibition, Ana Beatriz are the artist’s first two names, and that is what her mother used to call her when Vidigal “overstepped the limits”, as she confesses.

In Ana Beatriz, the plasticity of the works greatly depends on the materials and objects used, which almost always show the scars of time. Vidigal uses cloths, fabrics, papers, magazines, comic books, rubber-stamp dolls and even gourds. Of these objects full of history, a gourd dressed in a cloth embroidered with flowers is the first floor’s highlight. Ana Beatriz #12 (A Liberdade rimou com a puberdade) fuels the mystery in bringing together these two very different objects, which become one here. In this sculptural object, we remember watching our mother or grandmother embroidering.

On the ground floor, the maritime theme is presented by a work set on a wooden boat platform – arranged horizontally on the wall – with eight small canvases superimposed. The paintings on the platform are simple, loose landscapes illustrating Ponta de Sagres (as indicated in the title of the work), in tones faded by time. Next to this work, we see Ana Beatriz #2 (“Ana o Nuno e o meu filho Egas”), two wooden oars suspended from the ceiling and small rubber dolls (gifts found in the Rajá and Olá 60s ice creams). This large doll collection stands on the oars that levitate and row against time.

Then there are paintings of similar process. Vidigal assembles sheets of magazines, books, papers or comics, and carries out her collage on a sheet, which she eventually paints in acrylic or spray paint. Built up by layers of paint and different meshes, the process gives birth to a composition on sheeting, which simultaneously reveals and omits what is on it.

The exhibition’s final work is Ana Beatriz #7 (“Ao vencedor as batatas”) is formed by gourds of different shapes and sizes, building a quadrangular composition on the wall. We focus on the little eyes glued in all of them, which seem to belong to the universe of the famous Uncle Scrooge.

With Ana Vidigal, the gallery looks like a domestic area. It reminds us of our oldest memories, the things of our parents, grandparents or great-grandparents. Things we saw, knew, remember and that serve a new purpose here. By means of an unusual language, Ana Vidigal gathers objects from the legacy of her childhood and family, but also the collective memory that exists in each one of us.

Ana Beatriz is at Balcony until February 25, 2023.



[1] Ana Vidigal’s quote taken from the exhibition text of Ana Beatriz.

Laurinda Marques (Portimão, 1996) has a degree in Multimedia Art - Audiovisuals from the Faculty of Fine Arts of Universidade de Lisboa. She did an internship in the Lisbon Municipal Archive Video Library, where she collaborated with the project TRAÇA in the digitization of family videos in film format. She recently finished her postgraduate degree in Art Curatorship at NOVA/FCSH, where she was part of the collective of curators responsible for the exhibition “Na margem da paisagem vem o mundo” and began collaborating with the Umbigo magazine.

Signup for our newsletter!

I accept the Privacy Policy

Subscribe Umbigo

4 issues > €34

(free shipping to Portugal)