IN SPITE OF

January 2019
Mota Galiza, Porto
TEXT BY

The Limits of Space and The Geometry of The Place.

When visiting “In Spite of” for the first time, or any other space (whetherit is an exhibition space or not), António Bolota takes two measurements: thelimits and the geometry of the place.

In this particular case, it’s a shop, an old restaurantwith a curious 360º degrees shop window, with atypical metrics given the randomplacement of five round pillars in a quasi — pentagon. In this geometricallyinhospitable and asymmetrical place, the artist decided to reorganize thearchitectural chaos through sculpture.

Shop 77, a private area of the Mota GalizaShopping Centre that houses the project InSpite of, is in any case, because of its large window, a public space offree access to all at least through the gaze; it is part of the public sphere. Theinstallation is built around the five pillars and based on this idea of falseprivacy. Reformulating the idea of this space, the pillars were involved with acold band of iron that created and guarded the interior, but that left freeaccess through an opening near the floor. The stretched iron band materialized allthe iron buried in the bowels of the structure of the shop: in the slabs andthe many disorderly pillars.

The intervention doesn’t reaffirm the shop butit adds a new way to live it and another way of looking at its past. So, forBolota any and every space has potential for sculpture, besides being anarchitectural place and whether it is: a gallery, a garage, a shop or a ruin. Theaesthetic exercise is not adding but rethinking the space, with a perfectunderstanding of scale.

Therefore, António Bolota’s contribution pointsin two directions: converting any spatial configuration in a potentialsculpture and reanalysing the concept of scale. For this reason, the humanscale appears as a reflection of his individual struggle when creating (withthe help of the strength of his team), an apparently impossible idea, that nowtakes shape and challenges the laws of physics.