Precarious Intervals (2022)
Precarious Intervals developed during an art residency at PADA studios in Barreiro, Lisbon’s South Bay, located within the old Companhia União Fabril (CUF) industrial park. The industries used to host 10,000 workers and utilized resources throughout the Portuguese colonies producing a diverse range of goods from petrochemicals to carpets.
The work consists of photographs printed with silk screen on textile sewn into a quilt floor piece and live performance. I collaborated with dancers Sara Montalvao and Rebecca Mateus whom I photographed and filmed in the abandoned industrial park. Together, we developed a choreography inspired by the skeletal ruins of buildings that used to inhabit bodily movements connected to manual labor and production. The choreography was performed at PADA’s gallery space in relation to the quilt, alike echoes of muscle memories that had been taking place in the abandoned site, stripped of its initial function.
The project questions the 'image-body' both in a present contemporary image culture and past industrial era when the distance between body, image and apparatus were less proximate. The quilt tells stories of the time I spent in Barreiro from personal angles while questioning the ‘phantom limbs’ of industrialism and a new era of technology, labor, the image and the corporeal body. Both tapestry, quilts and storytelling are ancient human forms of expression, art and communication. One may seek comfort under the quilt of these memories and stories as a shield, a filter against reality. The shape of a 'story' is compared with the ephemeral stories shared through social media platforms and questions how stories may transcend into tactile materials such as fabric that easily adapt to the body and can be physically felt. This counter-reaction to the transient form of exchanging tokens of observations and events through images may be a desire for slowness, endurance and perpetuity.
Materials; silkscreen print, fabric, synthetic hair, jute.
Performance: 20min, dancers; Sara Montalvao and Rebecca Mateus