“Poetic Things That Are Political” is a screening programme that brings together previously unseen videos in Portugal by Austin Shull and Chelsea Knight (USA), Cao Fei (China), Carla Zaccagnini (Brazil), Daniel Jewesbury (Northern Ireland), Katarina Zdjelar (Serbia), Nástio Mosquito/Bofa da Cara (Angola), Nira Pereg (Israel) and Rita Sobral Campos (Portugal). Hailing from and working in diverse regions, these artists possess a vision of the world that is marked by the intersecting of global processes with local dynamics, turning their context into the place of the other. This characteristic, which is based in identity, defines their attitude to social life, which is expressed through symbolically inclined poetic gestures that create political acts replete with critical content. This “poetic-political” aspect frames an experience of the real that is freed from the illusory and rooted in the factual, and in which action that is disinterested but committed to change replaces representation in the artistic practice.
Nástio Mosquito/Bofa da Cara tackles the relationship between Africans and European colonialists during the twentieth century, noting the stereotypes that embodied it. Daniel Jewesbury depicts New Lodge Road, an area of Belfast whose Catholic population espouses Republican ideals. Katarina Zdjelar focuses her gaze on a group of Italian citizens whose goal is to transform their community. Austin Shull and Chelsea Knight explore the emerging tension in structures of confinement, from prisons to hospitals. Carla Zaccagnini proposes a journey through the history of music that evokes Jan Johannson, a Swedish pianist. Cao Fei reveals, in an operatic tone, the wonders and false hopes of RMB City, a virtual city planned by her on Second Life. Nira Pereg documents the temporary closing off of Jerusalem's ultra-orthodox Jewish neighbourhoods in preparation for the Sabbath. Rita Sobral Campos fictionalises a dystopian society ruled by Mr Leader, a contentious figure who launches himself on a crusade against reason.
Curated by Miguel Amado
June 30 Nástio Mosquito/Bofa da Cara (Angola) My African Mind, 2010 Video, PAL, 16:9, color, stereo sound, 6’ 11’’ Courtesy of the artist/Bofa da Cara, Luanda and Barcelona
July 7 Daniel Jewesbury (Northern Ireland) NLR, 2010 16mm transcript to video, PAL, 4:3, color and black and white, stereo sound, 31’ Courtesy of the artist and The Third Space, Belfast
July 14 Katarina Zdjelar (Serbia) We Need to Have Civil Consciousness and Basta, 2010 Video, PAL, 16:9, color, stereo sound, 8’ Courtesy of the artist and Circus, Rotterdam and Berlim
July 21 Austin Shull & Chelsea Knight (USA) Acting Out, 2010 Video, NTSC, 4:3, color, stereo sound, 19’ Courtesy of the artists, New York
July 29 Carla Zaccagnini (Brazil) E Pur Si Muove, 2007 Video, NTSC, 4:3, color, stereo sound, 68’ Courtesy of the artist and Galeria Vermelho, São Paulo
August 4 Cao Fei (China) RMB City Opera, 2010 Video, PAL, 16:9, color, stereo, 45’ 54’’ Courtesy of the artist and Vitamin Creative Space, Guangzhou
August 11 Nira Pereg (Israel) Sabbath, 2008 Video, PAL, 16:9, color, stereo sound, 7’ 12’’ Courtesy of the artist, Tel Aviv-Yafo
August 18 Rita Sobral Campos (Portugal) Mr. Leader, 2011 Video, PAL, 4:3, color, silent, 4’ Courtesy of the artist, New York