Sara & André & 100

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Very opportune book [and project], for these days there might be more curators than artists. Reminds me of the ANAMNESE initiative some years ago. This is a precious sum-up, cleverly taking advantage of the egos of the intervenients in order to unravel a multivocal narrative on the motivations behind curatorship. The ‘MacGuffin’ effect – asking us to present an artwork by ourselves… – led to something more democratic and substancial: the publication of a hundred interviews, both short and enlightening. And there’s of course the appropriation of the image of the iconic book by Obrist – through the graphic design. Furthermore, the edition pays a tribute to three heroes in the field:  Ernesto (de Sousa), (Paulo) Reis & (Paulo) Cunha e Silva. Ah! And there’s a brilliant text by Carlos Vidal.
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PS When I asked them for a dedication, the artists shot back with the same challenge they did to the other authors: ‘Dictate it to us, and we’ll write it’. So it went: To our dear find and con-artist / grateful for his impenetrable ontribution/ 1 Hug / Sara & André / 8.3.19’ Relational art it its most intimate splendour. For the full interview, take a peak here. [Ups, it’s in Portuguese…“]
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Livro [e projecto] muito oportuno, por estes dias em que artistas há poucos e curadores há muitos. Como a iniciativa ANAMNESE há uns anos, eis uma deliciosa peça de consulta, que joga muito bem com os egos dos intervenientes para desvelar uma narrativa múltivoca sobre as motivações da curadoria. Brilhante como o efeito ‘MacGuffin’ – o pedir-nos uma obra de arte da nossa autoria para ser mostrada – levou a algo de mais democrático e substancial: a publicação de cem tão curtas quanto iluminadoras entrevistas, num livro que é uma irónica apropriação da imagem do icónico livro do Obrist – desde logo ao nível do design gráfico. Trata-se finalmente, também, de uma delicadíssima homenagem a três heróis do comissariado: Ernesto (de Sousa), (Paulo) Reis & (Paulo) Cunha e Silva. Ah! E há um brilhante texto do Carlos Vidal.
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PS Quando pedi à Sara e ao André uma dedicatória, fui confrontado com o mesmo desafio que estes indómitos oportunistas lançaram aos/às colegas: ‘Dita-a, que a gente a escreve’. E assim ficou: Ao nosso querido amigo e con-artist / gratos pela sua insondável contribuição / 1 Abraço / Sara & André / 8.3.19’ A arte relacional no seu mais íntimo esplendor. Para a entrevista completa, espreitar aqui.

Aperitif and networking!

Milano Design PhD Festival 2019 is all about enthousiastic researchers meeting to share their diverse visions and particular interests. I ended up in the Smart Spaces and Cities panel, having the privilege of discussing the theses of Maria Elena Soriero, Bogdan Stojanovic and Isa Helena Tibúrcio. At my side, in her first participation in an international commission, Serbian researcher in Art History Vladana Putnic Prica, who enjoyed as much as myself the many differences in the evaluation procedures, in comparison to what happens in our countries’ universities.

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With Vladana Putnic Prica, from (New) Belgrade.

Looking closer into the works presented. The first, Maria Elena Soriero, was no less than a taxonomical tour de force; through a rigorous methodology of classification, she unveiled an evolutional narrative within Contemporary Art – from Immersion to the Cyborg – based on the analysis of major art-works (and  as well a few other cultural expressions in Visual Culture) which are establishing a Technonatural paradigm of experience. Always a pleasure to revisit the aesthetic of the likes of Bill Viola, Olafur Eliasson, Lygia Clark (photo below) or… Björk, now through such a specific, but nevertheless crucial lens.

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Bogdan Stojanovic’s work is encapsulated in a 5 lines long title: ‘Enhancement of Contemporary Architecture through a Meaningful On-site Experience. Novel design strategies for raising awareness of the eastern modernist architecture towards the major audience’. Uf. The fact is that the research is far from boring; it’s a brilliant take on the Smart Cities’ trend, managing to be both caring for locality (the Modernist built heritage of New Belgrade) and offering new generations and publics a multilayered and engaging audience development strategy (communicated by means of clever infographics). We’ll soon hear more from this guy, in an (Intelligent) city near you. Mark my words.

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Finally, the morning marathon would come to an end with Isa Helena Tibúrcio’s proposal of Light Art as a tool to generate and affirm Intermediate Urban Space. Luxo vs. Lixo or on how to operate from the perspective of a heart of gold. This is a very timely appropriation of Light Culture – which she approached through interviews with extraordinary artists such as Carlo Bernardini or Marco Brianza (Lux Matrix Tallinn) – for the sake of the involvement of ordinary people in conscious change. Brazil, are you listening?

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Below, Bogdan (Stojanovic, PhD.), and Maria Elena (Soriero, PhD) with Isa (Helena Tibúrcio, PhD).

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The afternoon at the Polifactory – POLIMI’s creative hub – was no less intense, with all the members of the several evaluation comitees giving highly personal lectures in an atmosphere of sheer informality, generosity and… provocation. A couple of these talks made my day: specially the proposal of a Happy Kaunas 2020 Contemporary Capital of Culture, by Jurate Tutlyte, and the passion with which Christian Gilles Boucharenc shared with a perplexed and delighted audience what Finnish and Japanese (!?!) design traditions might have in common. Des mots et des images justes! Two talks with Universal appeal, in fact establishing a fine dialogue with the opening Lectio Magistrali: Pietro Marani  on Leonardo da Vinci as Designer and Arturo DellAcqua Bellavitis explaining the historical reasons why Milano became a vibrant world capital of design. Judging by the quite amused international smiles In the group, also my talk on Dominik Lejman’s Haptic Aphorisms went also quite well. My special thanks to ESAD.CR and of course POLIMI for this wonderfully intense couple of days.

Designing ideas. Christian Gilles Boucharenc sharing his passion for the details which unravel hidden links between Finland and Japan, Architecture and Design. And Jurate Tutlyte unveiling the guiding lines of Kaunas (Contemporary Capital of Culture 2020.

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HAPTIC APHORISMS

Very happy to be participating as an author in Dominik Lejman‘s new book, Healing Loop. In good company: Mark Gisbourne,  Hubertus v. Amelunxen and Dominik himself interviewed by Ulrich Loock. These were probably the most difficult and challenging pages I ever wrote, for I had to be true to the vision and work of an extraordinary artist. As a matter of fact, the text has been a timely opportunity to reflect on a few personal insights arising from the collaboration between curator and artist.

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The book was published on the occasion of “Healing Loop”, the first retrospective exhibition of Dominik Lejman in Gdansk. The show presented some of the most important works of the artist from the last decade and a new video fresco – “Inclined Plane” – specially prepared for the exhibition in the LAZNIA Centre for Contemporary Art.

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In a very impressive way, the presented works were combined not only in terms of content, but also in terms of formal surgery– a way of operating which is characteristic of Lejman’s concept of “switching on of the lights in the cinema”. In a somehow tautological move, the specific logic of works at the exhibition can be furthermore defined as of a “healing loop” because repetition restrains the magnetism of the image in order to underline the presence of the viewer in the exhibition space. Very special thanks: Jadwiga Charzynska and Dominik Lejman. And to Nuno Carvalho, for the help in the revision.

PS.: It’s a book you may definitely judge by the cover.

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Muito feliz por participar como autor no novo livro de Dominik Lejman, Healing Loop. Em boa companhia: Mark Gisbourne,  Hubertus v. Amelunxen e o próprio Dominik Lejman entrevistado por Ulrich Loock. Estas foram provavelmente das páginas mais difíceis e desafiadoras que alguma vez escrevi, pois havia que ser fiel à visão e labor de um artista extraordinário. A verdade é que o texto foi uma oportunidade para reflectir sobre algumas ideias pessoais que nasceram da colaboração entre curador e artista.

O livro foi publicado no âmbito da exposição “Healing Loop”, a primeira retrospectiva de Dominik Lejman em Gdansk. A exposição apresentou algumas das mais importantes obras deste artista realizadas na última década e um novo fresco vídeo– “Inclined Plane” – especialmente concebido para a exposição no Centro de Arte Contemporânea LAZNIA.

Num registo impressivo, as obras apresentadas formam um conjunto não tanto dos seus conteúdos, mas em termos de cirurgia formal – um modo de operar característico da actividade que Lejman define como a de “ligar as luzes no cinema”. Num movimento de algum modo tautológico, a lógica específica destes trabalhos expostos pode ser definida como de “healing loop” (loop curativo) na medida em que a repetição contém o magnetismo das imagens para nelas sublinhar a presença do espectador no espaço expositivo. Obrigados muito especiais: Jadwiga Charzynska e Dominik Lejman. E a Nuno Carvalho, pelo apoio à revisão.

PS.: Trata-se de um livro que podemos sem dúvida julgar pela capa.

 

VICENTE. PRESS FIT!

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A moment may be many. The opening of the exhibition VICENTE. THE MYTH IN LISBON lead to a few beautiful echoes in the Press. In Portuguese, but definitely worth a visit, at least for the spirit of the texts (ant their relation to the images). Thank you PÚBLICO and GERADOR. Photo by Carolina Franco.

Um momento podem ser vários. A inauguração, dia 1 de Fevereiro, da exposição VICENTE. O MITO EM LISBOA deu origem a um par de bons ecos na imprensa. Em bom Português. Obrigado Jornal PÚBLICO e Revista GERADOR. Fotografia de Carolina Franco.