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0°20’7”Norte 6°43’5”Este

ANA VELEZ, JOANA GOMES and PAULO PASCOAL

I remember, as a child, feeling an enormous peace when, in the North, I spent the Summers at my grandparents’ beach house, always with my feet as sand croquets running throughout the house, collecting shells and butterflies among the puddles and dunes. I remember how the days ended in the living room, with the fiery sunset filling the space with warm steaks. I particularlyremember loving to hear my dear grandmother sharing the stories and adventures of my great grandfather in São Tomé and Príncipe – “that island is a paradise on earth!” [And there was a day when she confided in me that perhaps this was the only place that she really wanted to know in all of Africa…].Their letters described the daily island life, full of kind people and blessed with abundant nature… I will always remember, and with a smile on my lips, the image of my great-grandfather in Sao Tome in his full bathing suit, setting off for a swim in that very sea which mirrors the sky and the horizon meets the landscape I have not yet visited this insŭla, but the memories been passed-on have left me with a special affection for this land surrounded by the Atlantic waters. It is in this context that this curatorship of mine arises and inspiresme.What better way could there be than to challenge people that have been in this unique place and beckon them to share their collective experience with us. It’s was over 80 years ago when this island caressed by great grandfather, thus how would this same island be felt by Ana, Joana and Paulo nowadays?Yes, this exhibition is a memory.Paulo decided to move from a continent to an island, and live in a place where his creativity could flow and be shared with its inhabitants. More than a year he lived there, and still today his presence continues to impact the lives of the island dwellers. Ana and Joana, experienced this magical place for three months, during an art residency of the 7th Biennial of São Tomé and Príncipe.All three met on the island, forging a long lasting friendship till date. Together they shared the “Casa Verde”, travelled for miles, documenting and experiencing flavours, colours and the fruits of the archipelago. Paulo, an actor and performer, recorded it with his 

artist, traversed the planes in search of the moments photographed on film by her father Carlos, 20 years before – during the nineties. She also sought out the flavours of the exotic fruits, which her father brought her in a small basket – unforgettable memories. Ana, also a visual artist, went to discover the memories of Portugal on this island – the heritage of São Tomé and Príncipe.

On this journey, the sea was the horizon, accompanying them on each trail. When gathered to admire the sunset, its rays were invigorating and filled with colours that flaunted their gaze. In Lisbon, the light from beyond

the hills is golden with shades of lilac, blue and yellow.
It bathes us. In São Tomé and Príncipe however, at the centre of this African paradise, it is in shades of green and terracotta, which blends with the warm blues of the horizon, ochre, orange and silver that we live its intensity.

The memories we share in this exhibition are not only ours, but also the melancholic voices of young São-Tomé poets, that make us travel through these islands by the shade of their words that join ours in this art installation at Espaço Espelho D’Água in Lisbon – where the words of “calema”, “calcinante”, “ burning “, “ rusty hillsides” and “tanned sand” express themselves making us feel the radiant light and the warm sand under our feet…

Yes, this is an exhibition made of memories by us all.

Creating a sensational dialogue between our translucent memories and the luminosities that surround the landscape of this island–art gallery, hangs in the middle of the space, a site-specific artwork created by Ana, Joana and Paulo. A work composed by two suspended raw linen cloth paintings, with more than three meters, in which one holds the colours of the dawn and the other of the sunset, alongside a soundtrack where we hear Paulo’s voice, dyed with the sounds of the island echoing through the exhibition space, so you too can hear and see the colours of São Tomé and Príncipe.

It’s as if we wanted to go back there. We brought to Lisbon some of the poetry we found on this African island.

0°20’7” North 6°43’5”East is shown in an island-building in front of our river Tagus, with winds that blew into the southern hemisphere through the same ocean that bathes the Place that we honour today…

two acrylic paintings on linen
196 x 300 cm + Stereo sound 28min (in loop)
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196 x 300 cm + Stereo sound 28min (in loop)
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/ ARTISTS ANA VELEZ JOANA GOMES PAULO PASCOAL

/ CURATOR INÊS VALLE / OPENING 29 JULHO | 16-20H / EXHIBITION UNTIL 30.07 – 12.08.20 11AM – 11PM 

/ VENUE ESPAÇO ESPELHO D’ÁGUA, AV. BRASÍLIA, 1400-038, LISBOA, PORTUGAL (NEXT TO PADRÃO DOS DESCOBRIMENTOS)

 

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