VICENTE ’17 On the silence of the Crows, Animal Vicente

Opening: September 2nd 2017 - 18h |Artists: Dominik Lejman/ Ermida until October 22nd 2017 and Diogo Machado aka ADD FUEL/ Urban Intervention until April 30th 2018 | | Performance 19h – Vicente Branco | Curator: Mário Caeiro | Lisboa na Rua

AUTHORS Vicente 17
Web book
Luísa Paolinelli e Carlos Barradas, Rui Grácio das Neves, Paulo Lima, Catarina Pombo Nabais, Madalena Folgado, José Manuel Anes, Nelson Guerreiro, Mário Caeiro
António Jorge Gonçalves, Diogo Braga

VICENTE is a project on mythical public space. By means of art, it translates into the present the legend of Saint Vincent. In its seventh edition, VICENTE grants an extra attention to the crows in Lisbon, honourable guardians of the animal kingdom in Lisbon’s main myth. Through these creatures we see in Lisbon’s coat of arms we are invited to think about our relation to animals, and consequently to our own kind. In this year’s program, time-based paintings by Dominik Lejman will be presented inside the Ermida while on the façade an urban intervention by Diogo Machado aka ADD FUEL. In the opening the book Vicente’17 – On the silence of the Crows, Animal Vicente will be also unveiled, with the participation, among others, of the illustrator and visual performer António Jorge Gonçalves.

On the silence of the Crows, Animal Vicente

Saint Vincent is an historical character and the hero of a medieval myth. In his lives’ – both the real and the legendary one – crucial moments he was guarded by crows who, live up to today in the shapes of two figures that can be seen in Lisbon’s coat of arms. Echoing not only the medieval bestiary but also profound cultural archetypes, the truth is that these silent black beings have a lot to tell us….

Dominik Lejman + Diogo Machado aka ADD FUEL

Inside the Ermida – the nest of VICENTE – we are confronted by two artworks of the polish artist Dominik Lejman. His video-paintings in loop are a challenge to our perception and to the deep understanding of our co-presence through its somnambulist poetics. On the Ermida’s façade, we are invited to get delayed in the ornamental language of the urban artist Diogo Machado aka ADD FUEL and his tile patterns which hide an everyday greatness while provocatively pointing to a fictional horizon. As usual, this year’s edition of VICENTE includes the production of a book extending the experience of space and the place with different perspectives coming from the following fields: history and symbolism, biology and ethology, art, philosophy and animal studies. José Manuel Anes is one of the authors. The book will be completed with original illustrations by the young designers Diogo Braga and Sara Valente and by António Jorge Gonçalves, a reference in drawing and cartoon. If in the medieval Lisbon the crows were animals very much present in daily and religious life, today, in the tamed city, they have become a more and more distant memory and a merely visual motif. And since the idea that the crows are exceptionally intelligent and extremely social animals remains confirmed by science, for VICENTE the essential is, now in the sphere of contemporary art and thought, that we continue to use the animal to multiply connotations. In other words, it is the right time for us all to put the animal issue – the other par excellence – in the core of the processes which make us humans. It is a good opportunity for us to rediscover the human we (supposedly) are.

Dominik Lejman
States of Matter. Double take.

Shaping up the relation with time on the basis of witnessing the 'alien' experience. Animals are supposed to experience the ‘now’ as the mayor temporal level, without much reference to the future. The octopus though, is supposed to have the ability of foretelling the future. The work Ora pro nobis was developed on the basis of the surveillance footage of the white octopus filmed in the Osaka Aquarium, Japan. In general terms, the matter of perception in art invites the viewer to participate in the creative act as long as it is sensational rather than illustrative. Lightweight is the projection work of a "weightless", hovering, shrouded body, based on footage of a performance filmed in an air-tunnel. In both works – Ora pro nobis and Lightweight – the 'state of matter' of the represented other is alien to the viewer. We can observe however those two living stages of the ‘state of matter’, represented by the juxtaposition of the two projections on the facing opposite walls of the chapel.  The perception of the passing time from those two perspectives, of an amorphous animal, and of a weightless, hovering body, is equally hermetic to the viewer. Witnessing the two of them, confronting each other, what is provided are extraordinary points of reference to the sensation of the NOW.
©Dominik Lejman 2017

About the artist

There's a powerful ethics of the social behind Lejman’s tekné. It connects the ancient visual culture of Painting to urgent matters of today – from Globalization to Alienation. Like an ethnologist (Foster), Lejman re-presents groups or individuals in some sort of ‘cinema’. He directs – his cinematics being made of short loops, elliptic scenes, negative shapes and the way all is diluted in the material environment. The ‘stars’ are anonymous characters; whose performance the spectator is invited to interpret. It’s a powerful contact with the Other, be they a philosopher or parachutists, a pole-dancer or marathoners. Time, space and surface are key topics for understanding the artistic output of Dominik Lejman (b. 1969), whose aesthetic interests lie between the modality of Painting and the continually evolving possibilities of that tradition. Painting with Timecode is the title of a recent monography on him. Painting as a creative process is for him not only a means of expression but a therapeutical method to survive in the surrounding sociopolitical macro context, a world on the edge of catastrophe. He values the fact of being basically dependent only of himself to produce his messages, which happen as diversified situations: as a counter-public sphere (“Double Layer”, 2011), as a surrealistic world (“The Hospital as a Landscape for the Little Discoveries”, 2004) or as a rhetoric of grace (“60s. Cathedral”, 2011).  Born in the Baltic city of Gdansk, DL has graduated from the local Academy of Fine Arts and the Royal College of Art in London. Highlights in his artistic journey have been solo exhibitions during the 90’s and 00’s, him being constantly active also in the academia. His most important exhibitions took place in Zachęta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw (2005, 2006, 2015, Osaka National Museum (2008), Kunstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin (2011) and the Venetian Architectural Exhibition (2004). He lives in Berlin.
Text by Agata Wiorko

Diogo Machado (Add Fuel)
The work presented is in line with what I have been developing around the reinterpretation of the Portuguese patterned tiles, a formal and chromatic adaptation inspired in the aesthetics of the 17th century. An adaptation of conventional trompe-l'œil and the tessellation of symmetric repetitions, like in a visual illusion, that’s the theme Diogo Machado mainly explores in his work.  With this criterion, what is proposed is a reflexion about the animal as a being, and its connection to the human being, tradition and history, by means of the inclusion of elements coming from a very personal illustrative world that appears as layers and the interrelation between them.  

About the artist
Add Fuel is Portuguese visual artist and illustrator Diogo Machado (1980). A former graphic designer, his recent artistic practice has been focused on reinterpreting and playing with the language of traditional tile design, and that of the Portuguese tin-glazed ceramic azulejo in particular. Blending traditional and contemporary elements, his original vector-based designs and stencil-based street art reveal an impressive complexity and a masterful attention to detail. Based on a combination of the that plays with the viewer’s perception and the possibilities of interpretation. He has been showcasing his work in both solo and group exhibitions since 2006, as well as participating in some of the world’s leading urban art events.
Text by Miguel Moore

Vicente Branco
Vicente Branco is 17 years old and has been dancing as an autodidact for the past five years and professionally the past two studying right now in Oporto’s Balleteatro (Coliseu do Porto). Dances Ballet, Contemporary, Popping, Hip Hop and Cunningham. He performed in dancing audio-visual works  ("Got Soul?" – 8º video Online Dance Company powered by Millennium BCP) and shows:  "Kairos o Brilho do Tempo" –Afro-Contemporary dancing show with Roges Doglas Marinho and Cláudia Nwabasili as choreographers, Coliseu do Porto and Passeio das Virtudes with co-production of Cooperativa Árvore; "Angels" – a dancing show having Flávio Rodrigues and Joana Castro as choreographers, Coliseu do Porto and Forum Ermesinde; “Novo Circo” – dancing show having Carlos Silva as choreographer, Coliseu do Porto and Exponor; dancing show in partnership with “The Edge”, The Place (England), Casa das Artes de Famalicão.

António Jorge Gonçalves

(1964) is a strip cartoon author, cartoonist, visual performer, illustrator, scenographer and teacher. Author of several Graphic Novels he has collaborated with different writers – Nuno Artur Silva, Rui Zink, Ondjaki or Mário de Carvalho – in the creation of books where text and image are related in an exploratory way. He has created the project Subway Life, drawing persons seated in subway carriages in 10 cities of the world. These drawings were presented through a website, a book edited by Assírio & Alvim, and an exhibition in circulation. He does the weekly political cartoon for the Inimigo Público (Público suplement) since 2003. These works were also published in Le Monde and Courrier Internacional, and awarded in the World Press Cartoon. He has made scenography and costumes for many theatre plays. Through the method of Digital Drawing in Real Time and the manipulation of objects in overhead projection of transparencies, he has created shows with musicians, actors and dancers. He has won in 2014 the Portuguese National Illustration Award with the book Uma Escuridão Bonita (with Ondjaki, Caminho 2013).

Useful links

Former editions

About the VICENTE’17 artists

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