01/01/2018 - 01/02/2018
Collaboration LUIZA TEIXEIRA DE FREITAS
The exhibition brings two works of Estrela into dialogue. The first one Untitled (2017) is a video installation that portrays the behavioural reaction of an image to a foreign body hanging on the surface of the screen. In the same room, a second work titled OURO MOURO (2017) a jargon name for brass, can be seen as an (alchemical) experiment on the properties of matter after being photographed. In OURO MOURO (literally translated Moorish gold), the projected light of video questions the immutable content of a photograph. What we used to perceive as copper objects mutate into solid gold.
Identity and status are essential concepts in human culture, and the display of bright, rare and fruitless objects is present in every culture. With these two works, Estrela jests with the human need to possess, to have and to hold something that is exceptional and exclusive, but also somehow pointless in its content.
Alexandre Estrela’s practice revolves around video, film and installation. Very much influenced by the history of experimental video, his works are deeply embedded in what each person perceives of what is shown. His ideas are intertwined in between the simple and the complex; the deep and the unpretentious; using the materiality of the image and the questioning of an array of issues as its central core.
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Alexandre Estrella, 'Ouro Mouro', 2017
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Alexandre Estrella, 'Untitled', 2017
Luiza Teixeira de Freitas
Luiza Teixeira de Freitas is an independent curator based in Lisbon, who has been working in a variety of independent projects. Amongst her most recent exhibitions, stand out the shows she curated for the galleries Travessia Cuatro (Madrid and Guadalajara), Silvia Cintra + BOX4 (Rio de Janeiro), the Simon Lee Gallery (London), and for the institutions Museu Berardo (Lisbon), and the David Roberts Art Foundation (London). She is also actively involved with artists’ books and independent publishing projects, and is the curator of several private collections. Luiza Teixeira de Freitas was development coordinator for Chisenhale Gallery, London (2011-13); worked on special projects for Alexander and Bonin, NY (2006-12) and kurimanzutto (2008-12); was assistant curator for the Marrakech Biennial Works and Places (2009) and collaborated at Tate Modern in the exhibitions of Cildo Meireles and Cy Twombly (2008). She is a trustee at the Chisenhale Gallery in London and a strategic advisor for Delfina Foundation, London.
Alexandre Estrela’s work expands spatially and temporally through different supports. Each piece is a reflection on the “image” itself as an autonomous entity that cannot be merely reduced to the field of representation. In his videos and installations Estrela examines the subject’s psychological reactions to images in its interaction with matter. Each piece has several layers to which we are initiated step by step.
The works are not just there to be watched, but rather to be unfolded. Each piece convokes synesthetic experiences, visual and sound illusions, aural and chromatic sensations that function as perceptive traps, leading the subject towards conceptual levels.
Estrela is constantly problematizing the elements that constitute the act of perceiving, splitting vision into further sensible dimensions towards the unseen and the unheard.
His work is strongly rooted in Art History and its modernist champions, while nurturing an approach to basic science, from behavioural neurosciences, to physics and acoustics, but also alchemy, science fiction, existing and non-existent optical treatises, etc. Nonetheless, what essentially gives many of his works a peculiar characteristic is Estrela´s repeated use of images from nature and landscapes, and their connection with varied technology of recording and reproduction, sometimes explored to the limits of legibility and denaturation.
Recent exhibitions include, Baklite, 2017 at CAV Centro de Artes Visuais, Coimbra; Cápsulas de silencio, 2016, Programa Fisuras, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; Roda Lume, 2016, Museum of Contemporary Art of Antwerp M HKA, Belgium; Meio Concreto, 2013, at Museu Serralves in Porto; Um homem entre quatro paredes, 2013, Pinacoteca do Estado de Sao Paulo, Brazil; The Sunspot Circle, 2013 at The Flat Time House, London, UK; Alexandre Estrela: Subjective Projections, 2011, Bielefelder Kunstverein, Bielefeld, Germany; Viagem ao Meio, 2010, at Galeria Zé dos Bois, Lisbon, Portugal among others.
The artist has also participated in numerous group shows in institutions such as: Lua Cão (along with artists Gusmao + Paiva), 2017, at ZDB Gallery Lisboa curated by Natxo Checa (travelling to the Kunstwerein Munich and la Casa Encendida in 2018); L’exposition d’un Rêve, 2017, at Gulbenkian Paris (project by Mathieu Copland); Curar e Reparar, Anozero – Bienal de Arte Contemporânea de Coimbra, 2017 (curated by Ana Luiza Teixeira and Delfim Sardo); Hallucinations, a festival curated by Ben Russel for Documenta 14, Athens, 2017, etc.
Alexandre Estrela runs the studio Oporto, a non-profit screening room located in Lisboa.
More information: read the leaflet ‘Collaboration I, II, III, VI‘.Learn More