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Precarious Intervals

Precarious Intervals



Precarious Intervals was created during an art residency at PADA studios located in Barreiro, in Lisbon's South Bay. The studio is situated in the old Companhia União Fabril (CUF) industrial park, which formerly employed 10,000 workers, utilizing resources from the Portuguese colonies to produce a diverse range of goods from petrochemicals to carpets.

The artwork comprises photographs silk-screen printed onto fabric sewn into a quilted floor piece as well as live performance. I worked with the dancers Sara Montalvao and Rebecca Mateus, whom I photographed and filmed in the abandoned industrial park. We created a choreographic piece inspired by the skeletal ruins of buildings that once housed the body movements associated with manual labour and production. The performance was staged in PADA's gallery space, the movements reflecting the muscle memories of the abandoned site stripped of its original function.

The project challenges the 'image-body' both in a contemporary image culture and in the past industrial era, when the distance between body, image and apparatus was less proximate. The quilt narrates tales of my time in Barreiro from personal viewpoints while exploring the 'phantom limbs' of industrialism and the new era of technology, labor, image, and somatic body. Tapestry, quilts and storytelling all have a rich history as ancient forms of human expression, art and communication. One can find comfort, a shield, a filter against reality under the quilt of these memories and stories. The form of a 'story' parallels the ephemeral stories shared through social media platforms and asks how stories can be transferred to tactile materials such as fabric, which can easily adapt to the body and be physically felt. This counter-response to the transient form of exchanging tokens of observations and events through images may be a desire for slowness, endurance and permanence.

Materials; silkscreen print, fabric, synthetic hair, jute.

Performance: 20min, dancers; Sara Montalvao and Rebecca Mateus

More about the group exhibition at PADA here:

This project is funded by The Swedish Arts Grants Committee

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