Horizonte de Acontecimentos
Date 2008
Medium Installation with various sculptural elements, stone, iron, camera obscura and 16mm projection.
Inventory ID NA-0416
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The originality of the work of João Maria Gusmão (1979) and Pedro Paiva (1968) is prominent both in a national and international context. Collaborating together since 2001, their work has experimented variously with photography, 16mm film and installation. Through the use of theories by writers such as Bergson, Nietzsche and Heidegger, its aim is to de-construct any pre-established meaning and affirm the multiple. It stands at the margins of the comprehensible and the communicable, simultaneously fostering the impossibility of the viewer ‘witnessing the event without becoming a castaway’ (Natxo Checa, 2009). Engendering uncertainty, Horizonte de Acontecimentos [Horizon of Events] (2008) is no exception to the common thread that runs through their work. In this piece, the dimness of the light and the unsophisticated backdrop contribute to the obscureness that the duo intended. This obscureness in turn causes a sense of the indiscernible in the viewer that reveals the transcendental, or, on the other hand, states the material condition of phenomena (Gusmão and Paiva, Diálogos Abissologistas [Abyssological Dialogues]). Consequently, we take part in the search for a game which, via the viewer's inclusion in a fictitious place, constructs disconnected narratives in no particular time or place. The notion of the castaway is therefore imposed in this realm of ambiguities based on 'abyssological' assumptions – what does the hanging rope that challenges the laws of gravity signify? Abyssology, the science of the abyss, is adopted in this work to test the limits of – transitory and never absolute – knowledge itself. In this context, multiple fictions arise which themselves are then replaced by a free will of significations which are at no time intended to be substantiated. As Victor Hugo wrote, ‘When infinity opens to us, terrible indeed is the closing of the gate behind’ (The Laughing Man, 1869). AMB