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The medium is the Memory Trapped on the implacable arrow of time, whether on account of a mystery or by means of a "persistent, stubborn" collective illusion, we instinctively conceptualise our existence as one of moving forward. Not even the most sophisticated theories of physics or thermodynamics have been able to offer a clear explanation for this ubiquitous curse. Art cannot evade this motive power either. Even at its most transgressive, spiritual, existential, or political, art invariably assumes the contours of innocence—the constant pursuit of a mirage, with the conviction that some order or disorder will eventually fill in the emptiness we are feeling now; especially if we consider our existence on an everrotating, spherical planet which follows an elliptical orbit in a solar system that itself spins around the centre of a spiral galaxy. Endless wheels within wheels… "art does not advance, it moves"; it persists only in a constant recycling of its own Myth of Sisyphus.
In the heyday of a historicist vortex (20th-century modernism), the arts attempted to define and confine each of their disciplines within a (supposed) condition of "purity"—an ambitious "project" that naturally led to some dead ends and to the ultimate paradox: the autonomy of the medium. For the nature of a medium ought precisely to be founded as the exact antithesis of autonomy: the medium vanishes in order to make us see (feel) another thing (the work, the idea); just like light, which is not perceived, allows us to "see" things as it illuminates them. "The medium is the memory.”
In its previous print editions, Contemporânea approached different media as the subject (or theme) of each issue, in an attempt to map out and debate, in an eclectic fashion, within the current context (with a special focus on Portugal), the territories of sculpture, the moving image, painting, drawing, photography, and sound (the latter with an issue in vinyl format). Now, in issue #9, Contemporânea seeks to conclude the cycle by doing away with all thematic delimitation as to the motivations and means of each of the seventeen artists invited. This is a printed object which can be thought of as a group exhibition, whose only common ground is a simple encounter, its simultaneity within the spacetime of this publication.
Artists: Alexandre Estrela; Ana Santos; André Guedes; André Sousa; Belén Uriel; Carla Filipe; Gisela Casimiro; Isabel Carvalho; Joana Escoval; Oficina Arara; Pedro Alves Sousa; Pedro Henriques; Ramiro Guerreiro; Rodrigo Hernández; Sara Graça; Sofia Montanha; Sónia Almeida
Published by Making of Art
Edition number 500
480 x 350 mm