Art Arrived at Colombo Award: Finalists Exhibition

Art Arrived at Colombo Award: Finalists Exhibition
Temporary exhibition
Author(s): 
Adriana Proganó
AMANTE
Ana Malta AKA NUMPÁRA
Atelier Contencioso
Duarte Perry
Henrique Neves
Manuel Rodrigues Almeida
Maria de Brito Matias
Nicoleta Sandulescu
Tomé Capa
Inauguration: 
14 Apr 2021 - 15h
14/04/2021
- 23/05/2021
Floor: 
-1
Art Arrived at Colombo Award: Finalists Exhibition
Temporary exhibition
Author(s): 
Adriana Proganó
AMANTE
Ana Malta AKA NUMPÁRA
Atelier Contencioso
Duarte Perry
Henrique Neves
Manuel Rodrigues Almeida
Maria de Brito Matias
Nicoleta Sandulescu
Tomé Capa
Inauguration: 
14 Apr 2021 - 15h
14/04/2021
- 23/05/2021
Floor: 
-1
Body: 

"Art Arrived at Colombo is a ground-breaking project begun in 2011 which aims to promote cultural activities among the general public that visits the Colombo Centre, encouraging them to participate and interact with art in a way that is free and accessible to all.

In the year 2020, which marked the tenth edition of this project, and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Colombo Centre wished to extend this initiative. Thus, it launched an award to support emerging artists resident in Portugal, with the objective of promoting creativity and disseminating the visual arts at this particularly difficult time of great uncertainty that we are all experiencing.

Museu Coleção Berardo was delighted to join this initiative of the Colombo Centre and the agency State of the Art to present an exhibition which brings together a selection of ten works: the winner of this award, and the other nine finalists. These original, varied works allow us to reflect on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on contemporary societies and on our lives in particular.

I would like to extend a special word of thanks to the Colombo Centre and the agency State of the Art for this laudable initiative. I also wish to thank all the participating artists for the interest and enthusiasm with which they carried out their projects. Finally, we are grateful to all the members of the jury for their fundamental work selecting and awarding the artists involved in this exhibition.

I hope that all of us, to the best of our ability, continue to help these and other artists freely express their creativity."

Rita Lougares, artistic director at Museu Coleção Berardo

 

In the year which marked its 10th edition, Art Arrived at Colombo, promoted by the Colombro Centre and co-organised by State of the Art, launched an art award with the aim of supporting emerging artists. The jury panel comprised representatives from the following prize partners: Fundação Arpad Szenes-Vieira da Silva, Fundação D. Luís I, Museu Coleção Berardo, National Museum of Ancient Art, National Museum of Contemporary Art — Chiado Museum, and a Sonae Sierra representative. The Museu Coleção Berardo exhibition presents a selection of ten works by the finalist artists within the context of this award, which "incentivised artists to create a work of art based on the theme 'the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.'"

Works by: Adriana Proganó, AMANTE, Ana Malta AKA NUMPÁRA, Atelier Contencioso (vencedor do Prémio), Duarte Perry, Henrique Neves, Manuel Rodrigues Almeida, Maria de Brito Matias, Nicoleta Sandulescu e Tomé Capa.


Guided visits

18 April: Maria Francisca Amante
2 May: Nicoleta Sandulescu and Tomé Capa 
9 May: Duarte Perry
16 May: Maria de Brito Matias and Ana Malta Aka NUMPÁRA
23 May: Henrique Neves and Atelier Contencioso (Ana Velez e Xana Sousa)
 

Free participation, by purchasing an entrance ticket.
Maximum limit of 8 participants, with Prior Registration.
Meeting point at the reception of the Museum.


 

The works, by the artists

 

 


Atelier Contencioso, «Sopro»

 

The year 2020, which began with high expectations, conversely ended up being a year of pause, contemplation, and reflection, as a result of this devastating pandemic. COVID-19 has confronted us with the need to rethink the way we manage the land, in terms of its occupation and distribution, as well as our relationship with nature, and to use this negative event to help us envision a better future.
The virus is similar to a weed, due to the speed with which it spreads and reaches all corners of the globe: even when cut down and pulled out by the root, it is difficult to control. The dandelion is an invasive weed. Dispersed by the wind, or propagated through seeds in the soil, it colonises and multiplies. It is a bitter plant, a perfect analogy with these bitter times.
The work «Sopro» [Breeze] is formed of 29 aluminium plates cut into different shapes, referring to the different stages of the blossoming of the dandelion flower, arranged according to the world map of the spread of COVID-19. Each artist worked on a different plate, using enamel paint, graphite, bitumen, gold leaf, and self-adhesive vinyl.
The final metamorphosis of the plant is intimately linked to hope. We all remember blowing on a dandelion to make a wish: here, a common wish to return to normality.

 

Adriana Proganó, «Untitled»

 

I worked on the design for this painting/drawing during lockdown, at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, in April. I did many drawings in those two months, since I couldn’t travel to the studio. At first, I thought of drawing myself on a horse, jumping, because that’s what I felt like: running and jumping. But then I got sick of the idea of being on top of an animal, and it has always confused me that people are only ever painted on top of horses, and not the other way around. So, I thought it would be better to draw a horse on top of a person. I think this drawing represents the fragility of not be able to move, due to being shut in, and, at the same time, the urge and desire to run. When lockdown ended, I took the drawing, and I painted it. It’s a drawing with a human figure in a tense, trapped position, and an animal on top of them, running: the two figures are the same animal, in a strange situation.

 

AMANTE, «OXALÁ»


The sculpture «OXALÁ» humorously and ironically illustrates the euphoria and madness experienced in the time of the pandemic, offering a glimmer of hope. This work of art calls for individual and collective reflection about human fragility, perseverance, and the technical and scientific limitations that have led the most social species on the planet to resort to isolation in order to survive. The piece also touches on the feeling of rediscovering the meaning of common good, solidarity, and respect (not only for one another, but also for society as a whole). Fundamentally, the sculpture «OXALÁ» prompts a reflection about which hierarchy of values is most aligned with what it means to be a citizen of the world.

«OXALÁ» is a satire on our extreme obsession with cleanliness and protection when, amidst the chaos, we allow ourselves to be ruled by fear. Filling our shopping trolleys, sometimes leaving others with empty shelves, we forget the meaning of being human. Loaded down with our "golden trolleys," thinking that we don’t need to get anything else, we end up returning home without even being able to give a hug to those closest to us. If only they sold packets of love at the supermarket…

… because that’s what we needed to get.

 

Ana Malta AKA NÚMPARA, «Nonchalance»

«Nonchalance» illustrates social themes which arose from the impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Large in scale, it appears chaotic, its visual state resembling the physical and mental state of the country.
It depicts a woman in a relaxed position: free to do whatever she wants, free of worries; a critique of the ignorance and nonchalance of society in its compliance with safety measures and respect for others; an Algarvian quarantine.
Nearby, a red café chair and an open window, elements inserted in order to draw attention to the restaurant sector. All of us have witnessed the panic and anxiety of the owners of restaurants and cafés, empty, with no service. Portugal momentarily lost its food culture, and the streets lost their vitality. In the window, there is a list of the services of the city: no menu, no events, no culture.
A static bicycle stands out, symbolising the urgency of a return to mobility and the exercise of which we have been deprived. It holds a roll of toilet paper, referring to the gold value at which this object was ridiculously rated.
Small elements emerge. Tiles, representing the saying "stay at home"; a telephone, conveying the social change from a chat over coffee to one at a distance; loose sentences: "I’m unemployed!" due to the many redundancies; "home is work" merging the family with the professional environment; and "2 metres" concerning the typical markings on the floor of commercial spaces.
A dark elbow as a new form of greeting and a television monitor, which represents the absence of real news.
A pandemic vision.

 

Duarte Perry, «Eu e o Outro»

This sculptural installation is an interpretation of social behaviour in a pandemic, in our digital era, highly dependent on energy networks. Society is represented by two billboards, joined electrically and connected to an energy source. The light suggests the predominance of urban civilisation, the uninterrupted rhythm of the city, from the domestic sphere to the streets, to movement, production, and consumption. The spread of COVID-19 is higher in the urban environment, and billboards with public health warnings proliferate.
Deconstructing the literal content of these billboards, the work seeks to establish a different kind of visual dialogue with the viewer, challenging them to reflect on the big questions it raises: why do the two billboards have different levels of illumination?
Socially, are we united or divided, in the face of COVID-19? If we see society as a huge mass of electric wires, why do some veer off at a certain point, feeding off energy sources which are (not) the same?
To what extent is the first billboard responsible for the second billboard, and vice versa? Is the first billboard using up the energy of the second? Is it an (im)balance of power? Can the illumination of the two billboards be switched? Can we have—and maintain—both of them equally illuminated?
To what extent do we depend on individual and social responsibility and solidarity? What responsibility do the governments of various countries and continents have?
Looking at the two billboards, do they provide us with a sense of hope? Will the trauma of COVID-19 change our mentality, or will it be just one more plague, among others, in the history of mankind?

 

Henrique Neves, «Gémeo Só»


In my recent work, I paint and repaint surfaces, overloading them with pigments, sediments and forms, each new materialisation retaining traces and memories of the previous one. I repurpose used canvases and textiles, some left to me by my mother and grandmother.  Random occurrences such as folding a wet painting, or the interference of natural elements, like the sun, are explored and appear in the work.
The creation of marks and the construction of systems constitute the heart of my practice. This has given rise to abstract systems, or "landscapes," which embrace doubts, flaws, and vulnerabilities present in the way I paint and in the materials I use. The pieces come into being as coloured surfaces and three-dimensional artefacts.
Personal memories and ghosts echo in the discarded canvases, sheets, and cloths: the work of women in my family, earlier pieces, artists I admire. Many of my works are also haunted by collective narratives, especially hidden ones, or those not deemed worthy of consideration. These echoes materialise in a mark, a colour, a scribble.
«Gémeo Só» [Lone Twin] was shaped by the uncertainty and fear created during the pandemic. However, in it, I sought resilience for the moment, through the repetition of gestures and a physical commitment to the work.
In its objectives, techniques, materials, and forms, «Gémeo Só» [Lone Twin] explores the directly gestural and performative quality of the application of paint on a surface and the presentation of painting as a physical body. It accentuates the personal and social layers present in the use of textiles and in their echoes, becoming a body which brings to life the questions that haunt it.

 

Manuel Rodrigues Almeida, «Untitled»

This work was initially conceived last year, long before anybody could have imagined a pandemic that would force so many people into some form of isolation. I produced it in the first half of this year, primarily during lockdown.
My work portrays Dona Manuela, from Viana do Castelo, and her small grocer’s, where she has worked for over 40 years. It’s a tiny space, with little natural light, practically bare, consisting of half-empty shelves, which display only the products that Dona Manuela knows are necessary for her regular customers. This scene results in an image which looks like a sombre and austere portrait of isolation, but which also portrays somebody who, despite past and present difficulties, attempts to continue with some sense of normality in her life.
Dona Manuela is now 90 years old, and has kept the shop open to this day.

 

Maria de Brito Matias, «A minha tia Arlete»

«A minha tia Arlete» [My Aunt Arlete] seeks to reflect on the danger of numbers and the power of stories.
Up until the present moment (29 October 2020), the COVID-19 pandemic has taken 2428 Portuguese lives. My Aunt Arlete was one of them. My Aunt Arlete was a teacher and headmistress; she was kind and affectionate, and told naughty jokes at the dinner table.
2427 are untold. We have the responsibility to prevent more stories from being cut short.

 

Nicoleta Sandulescu, «Em casa!»
«Em casa!» [At home!] came about as the continuation of a series begun in 2020 concerning an enquiry in which the body, surreally and ironically, opens up to reflect the space of the home.
The objects in our homes—which oscillate between two poles, varying from the strictly utilitarian to the purely decorative, and which are ordered daily—become protagonists in this project. This series seeks to assert the idea of our objects’ belonging in everyday life, showing how things would be if it were the other way around, giving rise to a small arena of invented experiences where interior and exterior spaces complement and enter into dialogue with one another. Finally, everything converges on a new point of view and relationship between object and body whose projections correspond not to the real but to what is found on the level of the imagination. Challenging rules and logic, the aim of the series is for the relationship between the body and its "props" to establish new meanings. Thus, for the object, it opens up the possibility of going beyond its "function" precisely, so that it can assume a new one which reinforces the heartfelt importance of domestic objects, as well as a change in perspective on our everyday environments, which have acquired additional importance during these times.

 

Tomé Capa, «Escala»

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, rules about social distancing were created. With these rules, we all came to realise the importance of certain things we hadn’t noticed before. We have become aware of the lack of a hug, of a handshake, of a head on a shoulder, of looking into somebody’s eyes, and simply of being together in the same place. It is amazing how such a short distance (two metres) can create so much separation.
We know what we have lost with compulsory minimum distancing. But do we know what is lost with maximum distancing? That is to say, what is the maximum distance between people at which they can still interact?
«Escala» [Scale] is a gauge of distance and relationships. It is an interactive device which tests the distances we need for social interaction; the importance of personal relationships; what we have got and what we haven't; what we gain and what we lose when we distance ourselves.

Instructions for use
1. Walk on the piece (the footway) on display.
2. Together with another person/other people, explore the minimum and maximum distances for social interaction.

 


Safe Visit 

Museu Coleção Berardo received the Clean & Safe Badge, awarded by Tourism of Portugal and the Safe Travels Badge, issued by the World Travel & Tourismo Council.
This Certifications recognizes that the Museum complies with the recommendations of the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) to avoid contamination of spaces with SARS-CoV-2 (new coronavirus), allowing a Safe Visit to all our visitors.
Learn more here.