Medusa – work in progress, is an ongoing piece originally based on a documentary photography tradition. The initial version of Medusa was publicly screened in September 2010 with the tittle Who’s a jellyfish in multimedia format. The piece participated in a London presentation of the ASA Collective. In this initial version “Medusa – work in progress” was based on the concept of a Jellyfish/Medusa, that of following sea currents and only capable of nourishing itself from what is contacted during its meanderings/wanderings. Continue reading “Medusa – work in progress”
Terra Cinza (Ashen Land) resulted from visits to the Caldeirão hill range in southern Portugal during devastating fires. The results of these fires served as the motivation and the urgency of Ashen Land . The ancestral relationships and livelihoods of the local populations with their environment and ecology radically changes, radically disappears, in a matter of hours. The Ashen land scape and ecosystem that result from this “inferno” made clear the need to produce work dominated by little or faded colour, by grey and black. This charred ecology, this ashen(ed) land, with its livelihood sustainability radically questioned, is dominated by brand new shining wind generators, a XXI century icon.
Estranged Trees series
Estranged Trees is about creating (en)strange(d) images of trees, rendered strange, using traditional black and white photography practices. The aim is to question our colonising relationship with nature and landscape, where, to simplify natural complexity, we impose our patterns. These contribute towards creating a global landscape type, that taken to its last instance becomes a non-landscape, or a non-place. Through the gradual appearance of its shadow, the tree is here reduced to a simplified, iconic and manipulable object; a route that the work follows on, that end in the inversion of the tree shadow.
During the work, tight framing was used, in order to explicit on one hand, the complexity and density of nature (even nature that appears static) and on the other, to imply and grow on the referred colonising relationship. This implied relationship moves to an explicit one with the appearance of the tree shadow, an easily manipulable graphic symbol, that in the last photograph is turned upside down.
Terra cinza multimedia resulted from a collaborative action, based on the initial Terra cinza work. Armando Ribeiro (The Chroniclers) edited the original version of the work,Pedro Gomes Marques selected David Shea’s song Giton’s theme. David contributed his music to this multimedia piece. The original work is still recognisable, but the multimedia ensemble presents an additional dimension, a poignancy and a presence that are difficult to describe, better experienced. A beautiful collaboration, thank you!
Cut, shuffle, deal is the name of this work, part of Emergir – identity specific, an installation/exhibition presented by Maria Tomás (installation), Miguel Proença (multimedia), and Cristina Azevedo Tavares (curator) at the Casa dos Gessos do Museu Militar de Lisboa ( Plaster House of the Lisbon Military Museum).
This is an installation – an ambience that offers the viewer a different visual and aesthetic experience of the Casa dos Gessos and its works, keeping untouched the statue of D. José I, in the sense that its role as a gigantic pivot point, imposed by its monumental presence occupying the centre of the building, is untouched.
Focusing on the D. José I piece, Miguel Proença works to deconstruct the “urban” gaze through the photographs taken at the Terreiro do Paço square of the bronze statue of D. José I referencing the master plaster from which it was cast. He virtually places it in an impossible situation; in the Casa dos Gessos, and as such it once again dialogues with the other sculptures in a relation of proximity, through the grid of a chess board that evokes the bi-coloured floor of the room. It thus subverts the reading of this magnificent piece by Machado de Castro, polemical in its time, the master plaster is also extraordinary, as is the involved foundry work.
The room, only periodically opened to the public, exerts a fascination on those that enter it, be it the scale of the sculptures in relation to the building, be it the details that we can still observe after the casting to bronze, as by the group of pieces and the visual relationships that we can establish between them.” (Cristina Azevedo Tavares, curator, November, 2013, translated).
Emergir – identity specific and Cut, shuffle, deal was open to the public, from October 8th 2013 at the Casa dos Gessos, at Campo de Santa Clara, nº 62, in the vicinity of the National Pantheon, in Lisbon.
The term “Skenographia” is based on an ancient painting practice. Ancient Greece presented us with the idea of sculpture as a possibility of representation, a representation that in its perfect state gains life, becomes human. The Greeks also developed a system of representation, of translation, from three dimensions to two, in scenery painting, designated “Skenographia”. Contasting to sculpture, Skenographia could at most aspire to be a copy, an illusion, a mimesis, without a possibility of humanity.
For this exhibition, proposed by António Guerra, a path of exploring the open and suggestive idea of illusion within conventional photographic practice. Going back to methods employed in the XIX century the possibility of photographing perfection – sculptures – and re-presenting them in an illusory form, as stereoscopic pairs.
This work is in a certain way a development and continuation of work Cut, shuffle, deal produced for the installation“Emergir – identity specific”, Military Museum’s Plaster House, in Lisbon. If that situation called for following the photographic montage route [cut, shuffle, deal], the present work is strictly within conventional/analogue photography.
About the Group show/installation:
In Ludo, curated by António Guerra at the MiMo (Museum of the Moving Image), Leiria,
Nov. 9 – Dec. 28, 2013
Photography and sculpture by João Daniel, Jorge Ricardo, Miguel Proença and Isabel Garcia