So, there is no way to summarise or compress this – there is so much at stake.
Let’s say that there is an unwillingness to give in (up), to comply or to accomplish (and that is usually the case).
“What can (cannot) we see from ‘the back’? What if, from back of things, unseen others protrude?"
The back of these no-longer-things yet very-much-things-still are really gathering in a form of protest – whether resisting the ways in which they came to be (clothes?), or negating to be seen from their fronts. Sutured tears open up for stories on resourcefulness and resilience (hopefully optimistic), and that is the challenge.
In trying to dismantle myth making instruments, it all boiled down to a fresh sewing kit, shopping bags, some discarded (lived in) skins and all the domestic chores that come with working from one’s kitchen and ironing board.
Etc. etc. but how to escape the frame? Well, we ought to place ourselves in the skins of those who cut, those who sew, those who wear and of those who, willingly, undress.
About the artist
Gonçalo Birra (b. Lisbon)
Departing from the histories and stories imprinted onto the surfaces of things, Gonçalo’s practice delves into the rewriting of once familiar scenarios so to engage in dissecting and displacing the mechanisms that seem to perpetuate and cement linear readings of personhood, belonging and futurity. In gathering seemingly disparate data to enact encounters and arrangements of a sometimes absurd nature, the practice aims to introduce an ever-changing performance, where certainty is no longer cemented in familiar clothings or furnishings. Focusing on initiating diagonal conversations, proposals for a mutable kinship emerge from the assemblages, performances and arrangements that instigate (and witness) encounters between these re-imaged bodies. Rooted in a willingness to reimagine lexicons that aim for vulnerable, agile and transformative forms of resistance, Gonçalo reflects on the possibility for the works to perform as both initiators, intruders and witnesses – shaping and being shaped in return.