When Museu do Caramulo asked me to create an exhibition for the “Black Box” cycle, I thought it would be interesting to provide some diversity in the type of experiences available for the visitor.
The objective was to present other “Tours” that could be given in the museum by introducing works from the existing collection in a new environment. This was a deliberate move to encourage the visitor to establish new relationships with the pieces, which themselves reveal new characteristics not immediately noticeable in the old exhibition environment.
In conversation with the chosen artists – Gonçalo Barreiros, Manuel Botelho, Pedro Calapez, Luísa Cunha, Jorge Molder, Teresa Segurado Pavão, Pedro Cabrita Reis and Francisco Tropa – we outlined possible intervention strategies to fulfil this objective. It was clear that it would be more interesting if most of the Museum’s areas were used: the outdoor space, several rooms on the upper floor, showcases and also the car exhibition space.
Outside the Museum, a piece by P. Cabrita Reis, “Other trees”, signals the space and dialogues with a set of trees, introducing the visitor to the exhibition. Along the way, there are times when new views of the collection are proposed. F. Tropa’s sculpture, in its unique configuration, is a vanitas that fits well into the funeral tone narrative of room 1. From this room, and until the end of the route, all the showcases contain ceramic pieces by TS Pavão that juxtaposes with the very varied objects contained therein.
We can say that drawing is a practice that underlies almost all of P. Calapez’s work. The large design presented in the tapestry room “maps” the gallery floor and echoes the other two, displayed on the wall, of charcoal and graphite on paper.
The political charge of some of the works in the collection is highlighted in the “conversation” established between the photography of M. Botelho and the painting of Eduardo Malta that portrays Salazar. Two photographs by J. Molder are included in an area where portrait painting has a strong presence. The self-portraits of this artist, here presented in a caricature version, call into question the very viability of the individual portrait.
- Cunha’s works are often non-material, consisting of sounds that interrupt the expected silence when appreciating works in a museum. In this case, a voice seems to address the observer directly, drawing attention to something that we cannot see.
In the space of the pavilion where the motor vehicles are exhibited, what we see is not exactly what it seems: in the work of G. Barreiros, what we initially believe to be a set of chambers in different states of occupancy, reveals itself in a second, a metal construction that together with the text “Friendly Declaration”, makes fun of the relationships we establish with our cars.