José Almeida Pereira, “Simulabor”

We walk towards the obsolescence of physical labor.


How will our brains behave at the idea of the sedentary body, the hypothesis of permanent free time?


Does an artist work or create? Can he create without work?


Are we dispensable beings for the systems being planned?


How will we renew the individual pleasure of building a project and the satisfaction of seeing it come together?


Where will the human body turn to?


The models of this exhibition are images of figurative paintings, from other times, representations of effort and physical activity. The radical and geometric abstraction of the early twentieth century, an incomplete project aimed at freeing humans from moorings and conventions invested to the senses by the status quo, is here also called. These seemingly antagonistic visual references are pretexts for constructing paintings of now or spectres of a becoming, the transformation that a world of screens may insinuate on the real.


The activity of painting is a simulacrum of work and in no way distinguishable from another job. But, as a simulacrum, the painter believes in the apparatus and repeats all the tasks and rituals, as in a job that generates an economic return.


The allegory of Sisyphus’ punishment allowed the artist to think of painting as a manual and repetitive activity, actions and gestures of daily recurrence, which are equivalent to carrying the stone up mountain. Artistic activity can be understood as equivalent condemnation for its boldness to challenge the gods. Painting is directly associated with the primitiveness of human creations. However, it has several other layers and perhaps illuminating possibilities about present and future visuality.


The work and the emancipation of the proletariat were the motto for the group of artists – Unovis – who accompanied the Russian revolution of the early twentieth century. Malevich, El Lissitzky, Ilya Chashnik, and others, deposited in the abstract forms the desire for revolution. Malevich, at the forefront, envisioned an absolute liberation from the bonds of mechanical labor so that, through creativity and constructive drive, architectural models and totalising designs of cities, mankind would move towards spirituality and secular communion. It was the images of the works of these artists that allowed José Almeida Pereira, finally, an approach to the abstract forms.


The introduction of the work of Cristina Regadas and Max Fernandes in this exhibition represents an amplification of the reasons for exhibiting. Where does authorship begin and end? All the works exhibited were created in parallel, without mutual knowledge. The desire to see them together comes from the observation of overly coincident relationships to allow avoiding a dialogue.


Cristina Regadas built the stone of the future, a stone that is a collection of different geological moments in which cement is the agglutinator and simultaneously the synonym of the human as agent of the morphological alteration of the earth.


Max Fernandes has been interested in the conditions of production and exploitation of post-industrial / neo-industrial work, a determining factor of the reverberations of these forces is based in his studio – a former weaving and dyeing plant. The studio is both scenario and subject of interrogation. From its history and fossils, the artist activates relations, theorems / videographic poems, with manual (direct) writing superimposed on moving images captured by him. All this works in an accumulation of transparencies, magic tricks that throw us into a spiral where the human condition of the existence of people and non-human beings can not be dissociated.


Past Exhibitions