January 2011
Vila Nova de Cerveira
7.00 x 2.00 x 8.3 m Ceramic bricks, mortar and pre-fabricated cement eaves.

Mysteriesof Natural Light

Partof the 16th Vila Nova de Cerveira Biennale, “Como Proteger-se doTigre” [How to protect yourself from a tiger], curated by João Mourão and LuísSilva (Kunsthalle Lissabon’s directors), is an unique, unrepeatable andprecious moment. This is how all art exhibitions are (or should be) but thisgroup show, for the connection it establishes with the interior and exterior ofthe architectural space (the Casa Vermelha, in the village in Minho) and thespaces around it, deserves the epithets.    The works by the majority of the invitedartists rest delicately in the ground floor, in the rooms, in a bedroom, in thebase of the staircase. They are guarded interruptions, subtle to the gaze, thebody, the gravity that feed themselves mainly of natural light or the marks of theerosion of time. It is tempting to evoke an austerity when it comes to theshapes and images that will inhabit the Casa Vermelha until middle September. Itseems fairer to speak of a depuration, of invisibility almost. Before such modesty,the visitor should go on carefully, available and curious.    

Thehistory and architecture of the house, built in the 1960s by a North-Americancitizen that lived in it during the following decades, do not thematically overlapwith the exhibition. They serve, at most, as oblique mottos. The painted silhouettesby João Queiroz on the tower walls refer to the US flags the owner used tohoist. But that is the only connection to the narrative of the building: theyare mainly skin-paintings, organic surfaces, with a haptic dimension (actuallyclose to the 1990s production of the painter). António Bolota’s intervention escapesus, which seems like a paradox: it is a large-scale sculpture. This is so,because the artist used the same colour and the same type of materials of CasaVermelha, this way reorganizing the place of our body and the relationship ithas (intimate, physical, ambiguous) with the architecture and the space. Thesound piece by Nuno da Luz can also be enjoyed outside. It functions atspecific times of the day and from the heart of the building it gives thevisitors the sound of the city (the noise of the train over the tracks, the ringingof the bell, the noise of the street). As a double without a body, made only ofechoes and resonances. (…)        

in Ípsilon, August 12th 2011,newspaper Público, p.32.