Patrícia Rosas // Nuno Vicente. Pensar o Côa: Invenção de uma escrita, escultura e ações efémeras.

Contemporânea Magazine

In this solo exhibition by Nuno Vicente (France, 1981) are shown new works especially produced for the Côa Museum. Occupying the three temporary exhibitions rooms of the museum, all works were created to this show and present between photography, sound and installation, natural plant materials, reflecting the contact of the experiences of the artist with the Côa Valley.

Starting from a project that sees itself as local, that is, particularly inserted in the context of the Côa Valley, it is nevertheless within a global problematic that it intends to navigate. The constitution of the human species as well as the reflections around its destination, are issues that trouble the present, and Nuno Vicente approaches them in his work and thoughts.

Indeed, the work Silent Humanity reflects an image of a supposed man, who uses the language of silence. Would the silent Man be a contemplative man? What humanity would ours be if words lost their power?

The relationship of Nuno Vicente with Nature and Landscape thus allowed the outlining of his exhibition at the Côa Museum, a kind of return to a distant past that this part of the country allows for its richness and for its abundant and rich prehistoric dimension. The idea of displacement is developed in the work still life (replacement of fragments) consisting of fragments caught in the valley and passed to bronze, which will later be relocated in the landscape.

The art of the rock engravings appears in the work of the artist as delight and contemplation, but mostly as an inspiration mode. It is in this sense that also comes the taste for collecting, following the idea that the cultural construction comes from objects and texts kept by land through time. So, Panel# 2 - Homage to Piet Mondrian, with life remains of plant and animal, consists of a carbonized wooden frame.

Therefore, the land, that which remained hidden in the Valley, the forgetfulness of objects that belonged to an ancient time and that were dormant in the ground, piercing a time to integrate another, are seen by the artist as a deposit of several times and sediments, whether of men, cultures, animals or even plants that no longer exist. Using the blowing technique, The creation of the sun is composed of plant remains found in St. Gabriel's chapel (Castelo Melhor) with water from the Côa river, in a close relationship with nature, based on the idea of the patterns of nature, in this case, by the law of gravity that sets the action of the blowing pattern design.

The Côa river is a real matter present at the exhibition, by its dynamic, flow, matter in motion. As is the case of the Super 8 film, Stalactite, representing stalactite in powder thrown by chopsticks dissolving in the Côa river; or If Autumn is not dry, the water will be heard in the valley, work done with shale powder taken from rocks and with water from the Côa river, accompanied with text excerpts taken from the diaries of the artist. Another example of the presence of the water element in the exhibition is in the work Man thinking death, consisting of a pipe installation with water from the Côa river.

Continuing around water, Invention of a writing is a prototype of a writing made by the artist, with the inscription of memories about the Côa in sinkable ceramic buoys.

The involvement with nature and its phenomena are fascinating research on the works of Nuno Vicente. The fulgographer is a kind of seismograph that will result in a drawing from lightning that may occur during the exhibition.

The multiplicity of connections that we find in this show, between time, space and the environment, in continuous processes of becoming, and a complex network of physical and social relations, will allow the perpetuation of the past or of a memory preserved in nature, being this is the primary theme of this exhibition.

Patrícia Rosas



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