DE ONDE OS RIOS SE ENCONTRAM PARA INVENTAR O MAR | 2014

Carpe Diem Arte e Pesquisa Exhibition Program – Palácio Pombal, Lisbon, Portugal

Curator: Lourenço Egreja

 

1 RUNNING ON BLUE IN SEARCH OF BEAUTY | 2014

In an allusion to the infinite colors and incessant motion of seas and oceans, this accumulation of paper rolls covered in different shades of blue emerged from observation of the sea and from a dream of the lost libraries of antiquity.

  • tracing paper of various weights and dimensions, Letraset pen ink 
  • 80 x 600 x 75 cm
  • OTHER EXHIBITIONS: ‘Entre céu e água,’ Paço Imperial, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • access the work page here

 

2 TO READ THE OCEAN CURRENTS WHILE THE RAIN HAMMERS AT THE WINDOWS OF THE HOUSE | 2014

“For some years––perhaps forever now––I have contemplated the beach and sea of Boa Viagem, where I was born, and where I recognize myself whenever I return there, some thirty years after I first left it. Perhaps this is why I am more interested in rainy days, when clouds cover nearly everything and the rain hammers incessantly at the windows of the house, transforming the landscape.”

  • three simultaneously projected 10’ video loops, edition of 5 + 2 AP
  • concept and camera: Renato Bezerra de Mello
  • editor: Daniel Santos
  • OTHER EXHIBITIONS: ‘Entre céu e água,’ Paço Imperial, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • access the work page here

 

3 PARINGS | 2014

Spirals emerge from cutout scraps of of paper stored on rolls: a whirlpool of water is formed in the sea, in the contrary crossing of its currents.

  • various weights and dimensions of tracing paper, Letraset pen ink 
  • 40 x 40 x 30 cm
  • OTHER EXHIBITIONS: ‘Entre céu e água’, Paço Imperial, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • access the work page here

Photo: Oxana Ianin





REOPENING ON THE BANKS OF THE TAGUS

In Amateur d’art: par Lunettes Rouges
@ lunettesrouges.blog.lemonde.fr

2014

 

After my first enthusiastic discovery of the Carpe Diem art center (currently celebrating its fifth anniversary), I returned there for its new exhibition (through December 20). It is a remarkable and demanding space, one that requires density from the works on exhibition that they may live up to the spirit of the place. This time around I was less convinced by some of the pieces presented here, too neutral or perhaps too lightweight and ironic (the work of art as trash…) whereas, once again, others ably occupy the space with power and dignity.

In one of the main halls, Mafalda Santos has built a wall out of piles of sheets of paper, creating subtle effects of color that shade their edges along with the play of sunlight: it is a destruction, a library in ruins, a funerary monument to paper, to books, a memorial to dead bureaucracies. It is also a minimalist sculpture, a deceptively light obstacle that must be circumvented and against which the body measures itself in vain, occasionally imprinting its shadow upon it.

In the kitchen, one is confronted by another work of memory, another monument: this one aquatic, marine, flexible and convex; of a thousand shades of blue from gray to azure. Wondering at the ocean that separates Lisbon from his own city of Recife, Renato Bezerra de Mello has heaped hundreds of rolls of blue-tinted paper upon a long table. This accumulation engenders a sense of preposterous beauty, human impotence and dreamy nostalgia that is emphasized by three videos of wet, foggy seascapes hidden away in the room’s dark corners.

The exhibition also showcases the interesting postcolonial work of Sandro Ferreira, in addition to the “wordplay” of Tim Etchells (an ubiquitous presence in Lisbon this year) that accompanies a series of photographs of texts in the city (graffiti, slogans…) by young amateurs, some of whom are quite gifted.

 

WHENCE RIVERS MEET TO INVENT THE SEA 

Renato Bezerra de Mello

Lisbon, 2014

I have taken the title for my exhibition at the 18th edition of the Carpe Diem Arte e Pesquisa / CDAP [Carpe Diem Art and Research] exhibition cycle from a (slightly altered) old saying that may be heard in Recife, the northeastern Brazilian city in which I was born.

For some years – perhaps forever now – I have contemplated the beach and sea of Boa Viagem, where I was born, and where I recognize myself whenever I return there, some thirty years after I first left it. Perhaps this is why I am more interested in rainy days, when clouds cover nearly everything and the rain hammers incessantly at the windows of houses, transforming the landscape.

I was in Recife when I was invited to develop a project for the CDAP and I immediately thought of bringing that sea to Lisbon. After that initial moment, though, my investigations led me to travel other paths, particularly in readings about the earthquake of 1755, the story of the voyage of the great library of the kings of Portugal, and the history of reading.

And so, almost imperceptibly, the sea returned to my world. This time, in hundreds of rolls of tracing paper that I covered with different shades of blue, in an allusion to the infinite colors and unending movement of oceans and seas. Like the simple gesture of drawing lines upon a sheet of paper, observing the sea extended my sense of space and time, creating a place of calm, inside which I wondered at its simplicity.

The work that emerged interweaves time and recollection; it presents matters of memory and oblivion; it lends itself to the free association of ideas. And it refers to endless things that we may only guess at, without ever being certain of what they are.

In occupying the former kitchen of the Palácio Pombal – possibly the most beautiful and mysterious room in the place – I continued to think about the library of the kings of Portugal (currently housed in Rio de Janeiro) as it spread throughout the catacombs of a Carmelite convent. Could my oceans and seas also become rare works – the secret documents of a lost library, stored away in unusual places? Upon a long wooden table, located between the columns of the ancient kitchen, the rolls of paper are arranged side by side upon one another: infinite blues, between the green and the violet. In the small adjoining room, underneath the debris of the place, three television monitors present Boa Viagem on gray days, its seas invented by the rivers that cross the city.