Mushrooms enjoy the spring rains after a very dry year.
After a few residents in winter and some construction work we are ready for an exiting summer season. The first resident arrived and at the end of next week we have 7 more. We are busy with the first two exhibitions of this year: those of Gaelle Pelachaud and Andrea Brasch (see the slide show for an impression).
Gaëlle Pelachaud (France) will have an exhibition: ÁUREAS (Refleçcoes duma Segonha), in the INATEL building in the Centre of Évora: from 19 April until 19 May 2018 During her artistic residencies in 2016 and 2017, Gaëlle made hundreds of drawings of storks, especially of the storks nest at the abandoned railway station of Evoramonte. She will show several these drawings, partly in the form of artistic installations. Ideas that still have to be developed in more detail are to make a “real” storks nest on a pole and to lay a drawing of the floor that shows the landscape in a birds eye view.
Gaëlle Pelachaud creates artist books (some of them will be shown in vitrines). At this moment she is creating an artist book entitled Áureas, together with the bookbinder Jão Ruas. In this artist book several poems by Maria Sarmento will be published. Maria Sarmento (Evora) wrote a series of poems inspired by the work of Gaëlle Pelachaud. The poems are in Portuguese with a translation in French. The artist book will be ready for presentation at the opening of the exhibition.
Matthew Manowski (USA) had a very productive residency in September 2017, with an obvious highlight being his “sound installation performance” in the fortress of Evoramonte on the occasion of the opening of Diaspora, the exhibition of Kevin Morrow. During his residency he met Gaëlle Pelachaud, who invited him to contribute to her exhibition: ÁUREAS, scheduled for April 2018 in the INATEL Gallery in Évora. Matthew will return to OBRAS to implement his contribution in Gaëlles’ exhibition.
Andrea Brasch (Denmark, currently living in Berlin) will have an exhibition: Cartas de Amor, also from 19 April until 19 May 2018 in the INATEL building in Évora. Andrea has a specialty in digital storytelling and game design. During her residencies in 2015, 2016 and 2107 at OBRAS she worked on a project in which central is an envelope that she got from her grandparents with their instruction to open it only after their decease. She came to Portugal to open the envelope on an inspiring place. It contained letters that her grandparents wrote to each other in the first years of the 2nd world war. Andrea is preparing a multi-media presentation that includes a collage of postcards and text fragments that she found in the envelope, a video that shows her opening the envelope and a computer game with which the visitor of the exhibition can experience act of discovering this type of both historical and personal information.
We have selected the residents for 2018 and look forward to meet them. Some of them we know already. To mention a few:
Also Rob Monaghan (Ireland) had an inspiring residency last year, resulting an exhibition in Ireland and in a fruitful collaboration with Marjam Slaats (Holland) with who he may have an exhibition in Abu Dhabi in the near future. During his residency in 2017 he started a project about the lakes in the marble quarries. He will return in May this year to finish this project.
Paul Godwin (USA) and Miguel Angel Noya (Venezuela) are both composer and musician (www.dogonsound.com). Last year they composed and presented an “acousmatic environment”. On this page is a slide show with an impression. In 2018 they will return with a piece that will be brought to stage in Évora : I Am the Size of What I See. It will become a live quadrophonic musical/multi-media performance based on the work of Fernando Pessoa during the years of World War I. It is provisionally scheduled for the first week of October 2018. More info will follow soon.
WHITE WORKS is the working title for an exhibition with Phil Moody (USA), scheduled for 30 June – 15 September in the Palacio dos Marqueses da Praia e Montforte, Estremoz. Phil Moody came in 2014 and 2015 for making photo portraits of workers in the marble quarries. Very exceptional was that Phil got permission to make a documentary of workers deep in a marble quarry of Estremoz. He intends making some ten 2x2m photo mosaics. In addition he wants to make a book where these images are combined with information on marble: the history, geology, economy and especially the life of the workers. For this he wants have marble workers interviewed by students of the industrial archaeology department of Évora University. He is especially interested in the stories of retired employees: they started when it was common to bring water to the workers with a donkey, they experienced the booming of the marble sector, but also the decline and the crisis that seems to be structural of this sector.
Yvonne Halfens (Holland) will get an exhibition of her ceramic work in the fortress of Evoramonte in August - September 2018 (exact dates will soon be announced). The working title: IF IT IS IN MY HEAD IT IS EVERYWHERE refers to most of her objects being human heads. The majority was baked at the Irmas Flor, a famous pottery in Estremoz.
In some cases the head will be used as a screen for a video. Apart from exhibiting individual objects Yvonne intends to make an installation and have an open atelier in the Castle.
While preparing this exhibition Yvonne was considering that the Castle of Evoramonte could be seen as the body of her heads. On the other hand, the Castle interior is a very empty and pure architectural space that triggers a feeling of human absence. To place heads in this human void is like the visitors who come, look around and go, leaving behind an empty building. They remain separate entities.