SEPTEMBER 27, 2020 - JANUARY 10, 2021
Arquipélago – Centro de Artes Contemporâneas
Exhibition with works by: Berru, Francisco Lacerda, João Ferreira, Tito Mouraz, Vincent Moon and Priscilla Telmon
In the Azores, in a time when the earth shakes every day, the appearance of a new island is said to be imminent. The miracle of a new territory boosts a new future, even if the planet’s transformation by the hand of man pushes us to the earth being submerged, the end of the world and the complete unknown. One lives within an uncontained beauty, a volcanic paradise erected by the overwhelming power of nature, magical and unexpected.
Nature, people, tradition and history are connected in a fascinating geography of power games. Earthquakes and volcanoes, an unfailing but also unforgiving sea, wind, rain and mist which appear as threats of transformation to a safe and recognisable world. It’s feared that the earth will suffer an irreversible death, and through that an identity matrix is defined, which wrestles with the strength of its own hands against instability, insecurity and the uncertainty of life and the elements.
Centuries-old rituals bring together communities around practices of faith and belief, to resist adversity and Nature’s unknown. Men and women are initiated into promises, cults, rites, praises and prayers to gods and places. They do it as a way to explain the world, a way to interpret signs from above, a way to endure the signs of the times.
Processions, empires, pilgrimages, dancing, singing, the adoration of images found in sea - traditions of immersion and cult, redemption and protection, fear and punishment.
Epicentro: Milagre doesn’t fit within the boundaries of what we know of natural law, thus sliding towards faith, belief, delirium, imagination about creation and destruction of nature and culture, the amazing divine, tremor, terror and “what god wills”. The exhibition regards the way in which the specificity of the island molds a cultural identity, “Azorianness” in the image of Vitorino Nemésio, present artists whose work and research incorporate the documentary, the fictional, fantasmagoria or the invitation to immersion.
Artists who work with sound, photography, cinema and installation as triggers of the creative process, and who were challenged to artistic residencias, experimentation and research, production of thought and performance, to create a plurality of perspectives about this natural and cultural territory.
The are gazes from within and without, the ones which now assault the Archipelago, as an exhibitional and performative epicentre. They explore their own dimensions of artistic creation and presentation, contributing tot he reflection and confusion about what we think we know about the island where we stand, and they create an incomplete set of Azores miracles which renews and expands a contemporary art collection.
Collective of artists from Porto, from the fields of Fine Arts, Multimedia, Cinema and Engineering, dedicated to artistic creation, Berru’s work reflects on the intimate relationship of human beings to machines, broaching philosophical, anthropological, political, social and ethical issues. More recently, Berru has become interested in complex and biological systems, taking inspiration from the relationship of the human being with the world, to think, debate and create. Using different tools, materials and artistic creation processes, their work mixes technology, art, science and philosophy.
João Ferreira was born in Leiria, where he still lives and works. Photography has accompanied him in a parallel course to his other activities, since the 1990s. Since 2012, the themes of his work are dedicated to documental photography, focusing on the identity and culture of communities. He has been exhibiting his work since then, in the country and abroad, with his work being represented in institutional and private collections. Highlights in his curriculum are onde ainda reside e trabalha. A fotografia acompanha-o num percurso paralelo a todas as suas 1.3 Billion (2014), Arquipélago (2016) and O Paraíso Segundo José Maria (2018). His work was the winner of the International Photojournalism Estação Imagem Prize in 2017, a finalist in the Revelation Award of the Encontros da Imagem (2018) and was awarded an honorable mention at the Tokyo International Photo Awards, Japan (2017).
Tito Mouraz lives and works in Porto,where he concluded his studies in Visual aRts and Photography at the Escola Superior Artística. He has regularly exhibited his work since 2009 in Portugal and abroad, with noteworthy highlights for exhibitions at the Módulo Centro Difusor de Arte, Lisbon (Portugal); The Finnish Museum of Photography (Helsinki); Format Festival International de Fotografia, Derby (UK); Blanca Berlin Galeria, Madrid (Spain); Tampere Art Museum (Finland); Museu da Imagem, Braga (Portugal); Fotofestiwal Lodz (Poland); Festival Circulation(s), Paris (France); among others. In 2013 he won the Prémio Internacional de Fotografia Emergentes DST Prize and Leitura de Portfólios Carpe Diem Arte e Pesquisa award.His work is present in some private collections, being also a part of the BES Art collection.
Portuguese-American director and screenwriter, Francisco Lacerda is a native of S. Miguel in the Azores, who now lives in Finland. He holds a degree in Sound and Image (Image track). Having finished his degree at the Escola Superior de Artes e Design in Caldas da Rainha, and a fan of the cult and horror cinema from the 70s and 80s.
He is one of the creators of the short films Dentes e Garras! e Dentes e Garras 2, nominated for the Méliès D’ Argent prize in the Festival de Cinema de Terror de Lisboa - MOTELX. In 2017, he co-wrote and co-directed, with Francisco Lopes the short film Freelancer, winner of the first prize in its category in the festival Horrorvision, em Spain. Karaoke Night is his most recent work, globally premiered in the Frightening Ass Film Festival, and selected fot the 220 edition of the Slamdance festival, in the USA.
His cinematic language has been dubbed Azoresploitation, a term which integrates his work into a subgenre of portuguese exploitation/splatter cinema, made solely in the Azores archipelago, by azorean artists.
Independent director and sonic explorer, living in France, Vincent Moon has since 2009, used his travels around the world to create experimental and ethnographic films. A project he called Petites Planètes and which is mostly devoted to recording traditional and sacred music, spiritual and shamanic rituals. His work explores, through image and sound, states of transcendency. As well as the ritual aspects of ancestral societies and communities.
Moon gained international recognition in the mid-2000s as the main director for the La Blogothèque's Take Away Shows, project through which he recorded the work of musicians and bands in unexpected locations. Music and its recording have been, in fact, a transversal theme in all his work. His work bcab be accessed for free on the internet.
Visual Artist, director, photographer, writer and a member of the French Explorer Society, Priscilla Telmon has devoted his life to long distance travel that mix story and adventure, in an homage to the wisdom and tradition of the communities which she visits. Her passion for the discovery and mapping of ancestral cultures had led her to write books and articles, direct films and documentaries and collaborating with television channels and museums.
In his work, highlights are the publication of La Chevauchée des Steppes and Carnets de Steppes, which tell of her experience traversing on horseback the connection between Kazakhstan and the sea of Aral, and also her book Himalayas and the fiction feature film Voyage au Tibet Interdit, which recount the expedition she undertook to the region, following the footsteps of the explorer Alexandra David Neel.