Para Além da Memória Conhecida
Porto, Portugal (2014)
Curator: Rita Breda
Gallery: Espaço Mira
Artistic Director: José Maia
Gallery Assistance: Diogo Ludero Almeida and Patrícia Barbosa
Video: Diogo Ludero Almeida and Pedro Pacheco
Press Officer: Joana Martins
Graphic Design: [FOCUS] Inês Oliveira and Joana Ferreira
Artistic Residency: June 26th 2014 to July 18th 2014
Exhibition: July 19th to August 30th 2014
Funding: Universidade do Porto, ProtfolioBox, FlexGarden and Espaço Mira
Photography: Pedro Nuno Pacheco
“Para Além da Memória Conhecida” is a curatorial project that intended to provide co-authorial work between artists and architects with the intention of boosting experimentation, collaboration and sharing of ideas - to make them step outside of their comfort zone.
The premise was simple: a small warehouse, traditional, in need of renovation, in the poorest part of the city, at a small street densely populated by precarious workers’ homes from the turn of the last century, and three groups of Artist (s) / Architect (s) unknown to one other. We have invited young people born after 1980 and working on the context of a widespread professional crisis, as they embody the emerging and possible alternative voices. It was important that they knew, inhabited and worked in the city as well as represented different perspectives of their own professions.
It was not about tracing a specific methodological map or cartography of each profession but to open up dialogues.
In that sense the project had three stages. It took the shape of an artistic residency in order to keep track of the collaborative work; followed by an exhibition in order to give shape to the projects and include the reaction and contribution of the public; finally, a talk, to register, first hand, the experience and feedback from each group.
José Oliveira and Fala Atelier set from a traditional element to present “Namoradeira”, a sculpture/ installation that establishes a relationship between shape and function configuring a space between public and private, of tension that however invites sharing, forcing proximity and visual contact lost on the digital area.
Through sound (hidden within the bricks) conversation and interaction are induced. A reflection on topicality is presented, a society based on work and cast distinction; the sculpture is built with one single multiplied element that constitutes the different layers overlapped and needed to grant it consistency.
Two hundred papers sheets were folded representing lives that are at standby, unread histories or not fully lived. “Um Quarto” is the proposal from the artists Jérémy Pajeanc and Maria Trabulo with LIKEarchitects and Mariana Pestana, that dwelled on the reality of precarious housing within the area of Campanhã.
This installation shapes a barrier in space, although easily transcended. It invites the visitor to come closer in hopes of a more attentive look towards the problem of precarious housing and homelessness. Two hundred is the value that transforms this temporary and provisional condition and allows the conquest of a space of their own, a place to call home.
“There were clear differences in our modus operandi as well as ways of thinking but that didn’t cause any problems, quite the opposite, it helped us solve and find the fastest way to where we were aiming to go (…) it was a project that I enjoyed and left me wishing for more.” Maria Trabulo
During the artistic residency they met a resident that lived in a inn for several years, through the Social Insertion Income. After missing a month’s rent payment, he was evicted and lived on the street. Recently, he was accepted in the unsanitary annexes of a new inn for 120€ a month. In order to switch to a more dignified room, he must pay the first month in advanced, worth 200€, value which he is unable to gather because the small amount he receives goes straight to the rent of the annexes. Like him, many other live permanently in emergency habitational models.
Felícia Teixeira and João Brojo + FAHR 021.3 proposed a provocation through out of context repetition of the reality found at the exhibition space. “Out of space experience” results on the seizure and perusal made by the group of the current state of the old fabric warehouse. The mirrorless reflection and the mirrored light configures a parody through usually drawing associated elements, a tool used by artists and architects alike - the easel - causing an odd and apparent space experience, even though all its elements are easily recognizable.
“We found a common ground as to what we would like to explore and work on at the same time, searched for something in the space we could materialize (…) In common we have the fact of exploring the reflection (…) in the end we have a reflection on the work but a reflection of us as well.” João Brojo and Felícia Teixeira
Our intention was to create a platform for the exchange of latent desires within contemporary architecture and art practices, to promote the possibility for different means of communication, and, perhaps, to imagine future modes of cultural production and collaboration.