Lambs are bleating and almonds are blossoming. Spring starts early in Portugal. We have selected the residents for 2020 and are working on the two exhibitions of this year: The Mirror between us, with Sherry Wiggins and Luís Branco, and Ressonâncias da Terra, with Ingrid Simons.
This newsletter tells about some of the last residents of 2019 and their projects. Earlier residencies are on page residents 2019.
Maria Hannson (Sweden) is singer and performative artist. “Natural Opera” was the title her project. She came to OBRAS to explore her voice: to go beyond singing genres and find her expression in the performative arts. Maria brought several masks to perform with. The mask changes the perception of the voice, both for the audience and for herself. She showed this in a short performance in the hallway of our house.
Maria got some unique experiences. One was singing while (voluntarily) been locked up in the fortress of Evoramonte. But most were in abandoned marble quarries. In two she danced, partly in the water and in another she had a photo shoot with Pedro Ferro. Almost certainly these experiences will have follow ups in Sweden or elsewhere.
Karen Bernard (USA) is a dancer and performance artist. She created and executed a beautiful performance about trauma due to a murder. In minimalistic movements Karen played the roles of victim, witness and murderer. Central in the scene was a costume from her past, a bright yellow and black body suit. The costume is more than an object in the crime scene. It has a personality that has experienced physical terror. In fact there were more participants in this performance. One was a colleague dancer: Lisa Parra, who was filmed some time ago dancing in the same body suit and now projected on the wall. In fact Karin and Lisa were doing a duet. The other participants were the audience. They were sitting on stage in a formation that is standard for the members of a grand jury in a juridical trial.
Sherry Wiggins (USA) came to prepare her exhibition The Mirror Between Us, that is scheduled for April, May 2020 in the Igreja de São Vicente in Évora. This former church is beautiful but also dominant in its architecture. Sherry took sufficient time to find a lay-out in which her works do not compete, merely integrate and may be even communicate with the building. The exhibition will show a compilation of photos that Luís Branco made in an intense collaboration with Sherry in the past four years. She had several brainstorms with him and other residents on title, brochure text and the selection of works.