Saturday, December 23, 2006

some chocking design effects

It isn’t the first time that I’ve heard someone’s complaint about unfortunate results of collaboration with designers. Designers have become (yeah, right…) masters of know-how graphic and visual communicational elements.
Once before aside old-school designers (as well the publishers and all the gang from the editorial landscape) there has been a reviser. These guys and galls were experts in finding mistakes, problems within the (body of the) stories of the works produced (in the field of literature i.e.), detecting grammatical and linguistic faults.
Some year’s ago this situation gained some interest in Brazil since the government applied a law in which designers would have to pay a fine for every outdoor or other sort of advert containing language mistakes.

For the exhibition How to be Invisible there was a flyer/invitation. The design was made by “the official” designer. After sending the pictures and text to be produced, there were some faults (not even considering at this point the visual element) that I corrected. Despite this, new faults were introduced by the designer, producing not only linguistic mistakes but also meaning mistakes. And if this fault is of the lack of a reviser, well, I must say I saw the output version and was all ok, despite there was a magical transformation somehow.
Every time I handed over someone an invitation I had to explain that there are these and that mistakes and that they are not of my responsibility. It is very depressing to feel that professionalism has nothing to do with responsibility and reassurance of a result with quality.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Break

Dioramas is basically a long term project which draws the universe of the battlefields of a battle for desire. It is basically an attempt to gather a certain baroque and romanticized imagery that I often address to. In a way it‘s a solution to gather the different objects, drawings, videos, narrations (at the moment due to the lack of some technological equipment which would allow me to work more on a video-basis).
The Break is - let’s call it – section of the work Dioramas. These are five drawings of “muses” of this environment and of my creative research at the moment. They all portrait people who for some reason make me feel, output artwork, to believe and love.

The Break or Portrait of Henry Darger

The Break or Portrait of Tennesse Williams

The Break or Portrait of David Dashiell

The Break or Portrait of Francesco Ventrella

The Break or Portrait of Carlos Pinheiro

Sunday, November 26, 2006

How to be invisible / Como ser invisível

How to be invisible / Como ser invisível

How to be invisible / Como ser invisível

André Alves

Museu da Sociedade Martins Sarmento

25 Novembro 2006

A obsolescência de um universo, de um objecto, de uma prática, é ditada
pela superação de novas formas de representação, novos discursos e
objectos. Ou simplesmente pela extrema solidão desse mesmo universo e
daquilo que o constitui. E se a solidão e a ausência parecem legar um
abandono e nos arrasta para um espaço que não é o do aqui, também nesse
movimento algo de novo se funda, um espaço próprio se clama.

Prolongar uma ausência tende a avivar um sentimento de abandono (pelo
menos para tende a transformar-se em sentimento de abandono quem
aguarda) e a aumentar um sentimento de si enquanto lugar à deriva. Um
lugar que se edifica à volta da possibilidade de um regresso. O espaço
ausente tem a marca um lugar estranho; um lugar onde espera e
isolamento se/nos confunde e seduz. Como Ser Invisível é a afirmação
de um lugar assim.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Quebra ou Retrato de C. Pinheiro

The Break or Portrait of C. Pinheiro

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Different Places: display at Westfries Museum

Different Places: an Artists in Context Project

Different Places.

The normal participation of arts in social work is normally connected to educational groups and workshops. Artists few times are able to introduce their practice outside a framework of a workshop since the technical skills and educational background of the artist usually make of him a tutor.
History of art practices can quickly remind us about the nature of the public monumental and decorative arts and other approaches more and more connected with the social exchanges that have been happening in the everyday places for the last decades. The strategies differ from one artist to another and the results are in most of the cases the outcome of an internal logic of work of the artist.
From past experiences I’ve done different sorts of public interventions that were involved with different ways of looking the “social work”. And I still keep asking why does exist (in the art field) the frustration of “giving in the quality” of the artwork. But isn’t this also one of the aims of the social projects (?), to encourage an artist to make this negotiation (the quality) in form of dialogue (which in this case takes the form of the artwork)?

In February 2006 I came from Porto (Portugal) to Hoorn (Netherlands) under the programme Artists in Context. I was granted a period of six months at Hotel Mariakapel (an artist run space based in the heart of Hoorn) and given all the freedom to develop projects. After a period of six months I would go back. In total it would correspond to half a year away from my hometown and daily routines. Therefore I couldn’t set myself in as if I had migrated. I am a traveller in passage between different places.
In one long bike ride around Hoorn I found (on an industrial landscaped area) a big strange beautiful building. The map signalled it as a prison. And some elements (the barbed wire, the colossal walls) indicated it clearly. The architecture of the building fascinated me. Especially since the preconceived image I had from a prison was a greyish concrete building resembling the old mental institutions from the movies of the beginning of the last century.
The will to acquaint the insides of a prison (at least the look of such place) gave birth to Different Places. Its name is related to the fact that this is a place where prisoners are waiting to be sent somewhere else or released. In a way they also are lost between locations. The starting point of the project was then the notion of the passenger/traveller.
The recreation creative space (KREA) was defined as the better place to be with the prisoners. A prisoner might opt for having a weekly session at KREA (about 45 minutes per week) usually spending the time doing all sorts of artistic work or just talking, since is not often that you are in presence of other people and because 45 minutes a week doesn’t give you much possibilities. To avoid interfering with such precious time, an introduction was made during KREA time and the participant would be allowed to carry on the project in the cell.
The volunteers received a roll of paper which has draw on it the outline of a jacket. These shapes correspond to the different parts of the coat (if folded and attached to one another). In one of the parts of this jacket there is already a drawing (I mean a paper cut drawing) that I made. The drawing I started to make allude to elements of traditional Portuguese decorative motifs and some words.
The participants continued the drawing process with pen, pencils, or cutting, even deciding if they want to write something instead or to remove the previous intervention. The only request is that the nature of “being in passage”, the nature of being a traveller, the fact that you are in between something and away from your starting point is kept.
The project finished with a set of pictures of a man wearing the jackets made outside the limits of the prison. The initial plan was that the prisoners themselves would wear their own jackets. Unfortunately the lack of time and the impossibility of any identification of the participants required the use of someone else. Then the coat was worn by someone travelling from the insides to the outsides of the prison.

Overall the importance of this project might even be interpreted as leisure. But considering that the participants were offered another possibility (which is not very common in such a scrutinized environment) makes it worth and a valuable practice. At least as something that demonstrates that you are offering when you are not obliged to do so.
Art is a practice that lays aside the normal understandings of logic and function. As far as one can tell the nature of art goes from exercise of beauty till a philosophical analysis of the world.
The increasing field of the social work had also absorbed art practice and artists participations as one of the privileged tools to access interaction. And with this it brings a question to the art field: in what sense is someone (besides of the artist) part of the creating act. This question unbalances the authority of the artist since it reveals a participation of “others” in the creating of the work. The artwork becomes a bate for the interaction and for the main purposes of the social project. Then is this social work threatening the essence of arts by threatening its results?
Questions like these might not have a clear answer. My opinion is that the tools of art (as any other technique) can be useful just as a device to achieve something radically different. And the results might not correspond to the technical expertise of the artist but something fundamental is still kept: the nature of expectation and surprise. The artist and the participants exchange between themselves the phenomenon of expectation and wait to see the results of what the other is doing. And this is what is brought to the art practice: that the collaborators are curious to know how the artist reacted and the artist concerned to see the results. It is a process of fascination that is not just between the artwork and the audience anymore but between the different participants of the making. One could even point that perhaps in this sense the artist is learned to regain his place as a spectator.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Abort more Christians

This is the drawing made for All My Independent Women at Eira 33.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

appetizer (for suzanne)

some of the drawings that will take part of the (future) installation How to become invisible

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I still get pretty much amazed with the size of this house

In one of the drifting moments throughout this maze structured building I found a special room. The room is in fact remarkable. The room centre seems like the base of an electric pole because of the solid wooden structure that holds on the sealing.
Since that moment I started making sketches for that place but keeping the nature of what one may name as illustrative drawings. I clearly decided to use this time in residency to try out the different possibilities of the drawing.
The natures of these drawings keep depicting single figures, this time inhabiting a scenario of electric poles and cables of phone poles. The environment is haunted by quietness and tranquillity. I cannot think another word that depicts this imagery as well as passages.