Previous Exhibition

01/10/2017 - 31/01/2018


Orla Barry & Rui Chafes, Golden Pocket, 2017

The collaboration between Orla Barry and Rui Chafes goes back to 2002. Especially created for the Quetzal Art Centre, Golden Pocket is the third work produced by the encounter of two languages and materials that exist in seemingly opposite realms: iron and words.
Barry (1969, Wexford, Ireland) works with both the spoken and the written word to create performance, video, sound works; Chafes (1966, Lisbon, Portugal) uses iron to produce his black painted sculptures. In Golden Pocket, the two artists create a singular universe that exists somewhere between the poetic and the organic, between the physical and the metaphysical, between metaphor and metamorphosis.
The fifteen meters of the spiral-curtain into which the words are organized, in closed geometric diagrams or in fluid and fleeting punctuations, lead us to us a sculpture: a hybrid creature that can belong to either kingdoms of animal and plantae, or even to the realm of science fiction.

The words on the curtain refer either to a rural world — agricultural adulteress, the shepherd’s mind — or to a world where isolation and communication are the two sides of the same coin — your words or mine?, lexical pool, enigmatic dialogue on the phone — creating a poetic and lyrical ambiance full of uncertainty, humanity, redemption, catharsis, and with a deep desire for reaching out to the “other”.
The ‘other’ is materialized, but not appeased, by the iron sculpture. On the contrary, it is disturbing that we cannot place it, that it does not belong to or fit within anything we may find in the material and visible world.
“On entering this space you fall through the gaps between the colours of the rainbow”, these are the words the artists chose to describe their collaboration.

Isabel Carlos


Isabel Carlos
Isabel Carlos studied philosophy at the Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Coimbra (1987). She holds a Post-Graduation and Master’s degree in Social Communication granted by the Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Universidade Nova de Lisboa. Working as an art critic since 1991, she was head adviser for the Exhibitions Department in Lisboa 94, Cultural Capital of Europe. From 1996 to 2001, she was the founder and the deputy director of the Instituto de Arte Contemporânea (IAC) of the Portuguese Ministry of Culture. In this position, among other activities, she was responsible for the Portuguese representation at the Venice Biennale (2001) and at the São Paulo Biennial (1996 and 1998). She was a jury member of the Venice Biennale (2003), the Turner Prize (2010), The Vincent Award (2013), among others. She was a selector for the Ars Mundi 2008, Cardiff (UK). Among the many shows she produced stand out: On Reason and Emotion, Biennale of Sydney (2004); Intus, by Helena Almeida, Portuguese Pavilion, Venice Biennale (2005); Provisions for the Future, Sharjah Biennial (2009). She was the director of CAM – Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, in Lisbon, between 2009 and 2015.

Orla Barry
Orla Barry (1969) is both a visual artist and shepherd. She lived for 16 years in Brussels and now lives and works in South East Ireland where she runs a flock of pedigree Lleyn sheep. In her work she deals with the physicality and poetics of oral language. She has had performances at Performatik 17, Brussels, The Project Arts Centre, Dublin; The South London Gallery and Tate Modern, London; If I Can’t Dance, De Appel Amsterdam; and The Playground Festival, Leuven. She has also had solo shows at Templebar Gallery, Dublin; CCB, Museu Berardo, Lisbon (with Rui Chafes); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; SMAK, Ghent; Camden Arts Centre, London; and Bozar, Brussels.

Rui Chafes
Rui Chafes (1966) works mainly with iron and steel. After graduating in Sculpture at Lisbon’s Faculdade de Belas-Artes, he studied with Gerhard Merz at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf from 1990 to 1992, where he also translated the Novalis Fragments from german into portuguese. He has had solo exhibitions at Museu de Serralves (with Pedro Costa), Porto; CAM – Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisboa; Palácio Nacional da Pena, Sintra; Museu Colecção Berardo (with Orla Barry), Lisboa; SMAK, Ghent; Folkwang Museum, Essen; Esbjerg Kunstmuseum, Esbjerg; Nikolaj Contemporary Art Center, Copenhagen; Fondazione Volume!, Rome; Fundação Eva Klabin, Rio de Janeiro; Fundación Luis Seoane, A Coruña; Hara Museum (with Pedro Costa), Tokyo; Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro; Ilmin Museum of Art (with Pedro Costa), Seoul. He participated at the the São Paulo Biennale on 2004 (with Vera Mantero) and at the Venice Biennale on 1995 and 2013.

More information: read the publication Collaboration I, II, III, VI.

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