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Current Exhibition

29/10/2021 - 23/03/2022

Pitching itself a tent where all may enter

Quetzal Art Center proudly presents the group exhibition Pitching itself a tent where all may enter.

With works by Hugo Canoilas, Fernanda Fragateiro, Marta Mateus, Rui Moreira, António Poppe, Bert Teunissen, Francisco Tropa, Maria Ana Vasco Costa and Stephen Wilks.

Curated by Aveline de Bruin and Luiza Teixeira de Freitas.

The title chosen for the second part of this collaboration comes from the same poem of João Cabral de Melo Neto Weaving the Dawn, that was referenced in the previous exhibition, creating a dialogue between both interations.
The artists brought together, tell stories that work as a catalyst for all past ideas and aim to look outside, to the other, to collaborations, showing how references intertwine towards each other and the absolute need to work together. Using the most diverse media – film, drawing, photography, sculpture and sound, the artworks in this exhibition are embedded with time, materials that tell histories – be them personal or not.

Marta Mateus

(1984) Lives and Works between Lisbon and the Alentejo

The exhibition includes two works by Marta Mateus: the film ‘Farpões Baldios’ and the sound installation ‘Fogo do Vento’. Marta Mateus’ artistic interest is anchored in her experience of growing up in the countryside, in agriculture and the work in nature, in memory and in the crossover of historical times.

The intuition that the force that governs natural life is the same as the one that moves communities and thoughts, the spoken word, legends and myths, a link of transmission between generations. Marta Mateus looks for these traces and rhythms within faces, gestures, in the experience of the seasons, in the marks on the landscape and sees in direct experience the only way to share knowledge and teachings. In the search of preserving the heritage of these movements amongst landscapes and generations, dreamlike and political territories are being woven.

António Poppe

(1968) Lisbon

The exhibition features a large-scale drawing by António Poppe, thought for this space, it inaugurates a new moment  of work in the artist’s practice. The installation starts from a drawing on two sheets of paper, a portrait of Poppe’s son João. The work is then filled with and mirrors what makes António Poppe’s work his own: poetic and onomatopoeic writings, performance, games, drawing, calligraphy, endless collages – even if invisible. Deeply introspective and meditative, the artist’s work brings to the exhibition an experience of time that is non-linear, but in a block, which suddenly falls onto the viewer like fresh wind.

Stephen Wilks

(1964, UK) Lives and works in Berlin 

Stephen Wilks is fascinated by the anthropomorphic iconography, in which human characteristics are ascribed to animals, like in his projects Animal Farm and Trojan Donkey.

Wilks organized street parades, with larger-than-life animals that were carried by people on hands. The issue of corruption of ideals is at the fore-front of the questions raised: ‘All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others’. During ‘Trojan Donkey’, Wilks carried a life-sized stuffed donkey on his back. The donkey travelled around the world and stayed with people who in their turn gave the donkey a personal message. ‘Wearing a donkey on the back’ refers not only to regional English slang, but also to humor noir, described by Surrealist André Breton (1935). The donkey as a beast of burden, which in many cultures is associated with poverty, becomes a major significance in the work of Wilks is.

In the first chapter of this exhibition, we showed Stephen Wilkes’ ‘Donkey Roundabout’, which symbolized all the different donkeys that travel the world, poetically alluding to the rotation of history and stories told and passed on orally. Now, for ‘Pitching Itself a tent where all may enter’, Stephen created a new donkey with traditional fabric manufactured in Portugal by Fabrical in Monsaraz. The donkey made its presence at the opening of the exhibition, before heading on a journey through Portugal.

The idea is that it will go to other museums, schools or even people’s homes and collect their memories and stories. These will be carried by the donkey and passed from place to place into the hands of others. This is a work that pays homage to, not only a slow experience of time, attentive to the journey and the meeting of the other, but also the local handicraft, with the donkey made locally, embroidered ‘Portuguese style’.

For this exhibition Wilks says: ‘Often people ask me about when the donkey project will finish, it’s a cumulative work and the whole theme of the donkeys traveling keeps generating new ideas.’

Special thanks to Mizette Nielsen who gave us the beautiful fabric for the project.

Fernanda Fragateiro

(1962) Lives and works in Lisbon

In Fernanda Fragateiro’s work, “Process”, research and artistic practice, archaeology and sculpture, architecture and community coincide. The work assembles collages of “remnants” from the ‘Bairro 6 de Maio’ neighbourhood, which the artist collected, assembled, and revived. She did so in the physical sense, collecting scaffolding, stones or cement, but keeping the question in mind – what are in fact the “remnants” of a community? Where lay the footprints of the conversations, the companionships, the routines of the ‘Bairro 6 de Maio’ community? Perhaps by listening to the work of Fragateiro and seeing through it, we will be able to re-enter the neighbourhood, smile at people and hear their stories. The piece that, at first sight, looks like a sketch for something, the start or end of a scaffolding in construction or, who knows, a ruin of something to be, will invite whoever comes across to hear its secrets, in addition to being dazzled by the technique that underlies it. It will stand in dialogue not only with the other works in the room but also within itself, through itself.

Rui Moreira

(1971) Lives and works in Lisbon

Rui Moreira’s artistic practice focuses on the trips he takes, the books he reads, the music he listens to and the films that exist around him. We see the Himalayas, Amazon forests, Portugal’s Trás-os-Montes, Hitchcock, Kubrik, Bach, Indian scales and many more, meticulously and slowly organized into geometric structures, architectures of thought. The artist self-proposed to devote a year to completing “In search of lost time”, the drawing presented in this exhibition, which is exactly the same time it took for him to read the homonymous book from 1913 by Marcel Proust. Accompanied by these two objects, a sheet of paper and the book, isolated in a room with only artificial light, the artist immersed himself within himself and in his own memories, sometimes unreal but always selective. He saw within him the infinite horizon of the desert. The outer space of the drawing is filled with interiors of the body, intestines, backbones or medulla, which allude to a space that is as psychologically, as physically interior. We are inside the artist’s body. The circular geometry, reminiscent of a magic lamp from the time of cinema’s first steps – another major obsession of the artist – is filled with dreamlike representations of his own memories. A childhood of fishing with his father in the river and seeing a hook stuck in his eye, his participation in the traditional caretos in Trás-os-Montes, a scene from a film by Marta Mateus (artist who is also present in this exhibition), among countless others. “In search of lost time” is a work about love that passes through generations without being taught. It’s about knowing how to wait for time in a drawing and about walking backwards into the past whilst watching the sunset.

Francisco Tropa

(1968) Lives and works in Lisboa

The day of the exhibition opening will feature the concert of ‘Osso Exótico’ — Powwow project (André Maranha, David Maranha, Francisco Tropa, Manuel Mota, Patrícia Machás). The group will perform on the work of Francisco Tropa, a set of bronze sculptures à la Bacon, shameless and grotesque. The artist acquires these musical instruments from the butchers shop, limbs of bodies, he froze them in bronze and with irony and humour, gave them the chore of producing that which is less corporeal in art: sound. The sound emanating from these animal limbs is so invisible, shapeless and odourless that its unexpected association with a set of pieces of meat, heavy for the hands and eyes, putrefying for the imaginary nose, confuses the viewer.
The sculpture exists throughout the exhibition with the double identity of both having existed whilst active musical instrument during the concert and afterwards on its own.

Maria Ana Vasco Costa

(1983) Lives and works in Lisbon

Maria Ana Vasco Costa presents for this exhibition drawings and floor sculptures, some of them shown for the first time standing in plinths composed of handmade bricks and put together in situ by the artist. With a diploma in architecture, Vasco Costa has a special interest in exploring the formal limitations of the materials and methods used in ceramics, specifically tiles. This fascination for ceramics is allied to her Azorean roots, surrounded by raw nature, volcanic stones and immensity, the artist sees her aesthetic plasticity through these forces. The sculptures, delicate and seducing, suggest not only this past and this inspiration, but also the artist’s temperament, or the mask she seeks to convey. The watercolour drawings, branches of sculptures, present themselves as the light wind that surrounds them. Together these works are experienced immensely, like a natural installation.

Bert Teunissen

(1959) Lives and works in the Netherlands

The exhibition includes three photographic works by Bert Teunissen. They are part of a project which the artist started more than 20 years ago – “Domestic Landscapes”. The artist sought to photograph domestic interiors all around the world, in what seems a mixed style of interior landscape and portraiture. The inhabitants of each work are part of the space, they blend in the colours and walls and furniture and breathe with the building. Teunissen chooses old and unchanged settings, older people, giving preference to unmodernized situations. Living memories of a past that is either gone or never existed. For this exhibition, three works are presented “Azaruja”, “Mazouco” and “Cabeçudo”, all taken in Alentejo, Portugal. The first two fit into the interior landscape definition of the project while the third one, “Cabeçudo”, is taken in an outside space. Metaphorically speaking, and in line with the exhibition’s concept, the individual’s domestic space is enlarged to conquer the outside as well.

Hugo Canoilas

Osmosis is a wall commission by Hugo Canoilas.

Departing from an idea to develop and produce traces of paintings on the wall as they happen in his own studio walls, and use them as non-rational maps where some imagery around his previous grotto project could be placed. The grotto was a project developed by Hugo Canoilas with Galeria Quadrado Azul, in Lisbon. Using part of the gallery’s basement floor, the grotto worked as a collective work and an experimental platform that seeked to create a community between a group of artists, the gallery and its audience. The wall he produced for Quetzal (2021), unfolds a map of already done interventions, historical associations, and many desires. The marks are made with high fluid acrylic paint on a thin canvas and water and the imagery is transferred (with a special water-based material) from digital prints into the wall. The way they are done creates a kind of camouflage or discovery game of the viewer, who seeks to discover among the wall-painting the hidden insertions.