Nuno Vicente infuses the poetic with the practical, often creating objects to contain the impossible: memories, existence, movement, time. Death and the return to earth is a thread that runs throughout his work. In Dead Bird (2011), he found a dead bird on a path in a forest and cremated it on the spot. He then mixed the ashes in poured concrete to form a stone and return the bird to the place of its death. The stone sits as an attempt to capture the ephemeral, preserving the bird from decay and turning it into a marker or temporary shrine. By using the form of a stone and returning it to the earth, Vicente completes a sort of circle-of-life. Over time it will be reabsorbed by and integrated into the surrounding natural world. With only the woods as witness to Vicente’s gift of return, the piece becomes a silent performance where artwork, artist and action intertwine.
Text by Lauren K Reid, 2011.