Magnetic Fields, Diogo Evangelista’s second exhibition at Galeria Francisco Fino, brings us a new body of work including painting, video and installation. In the environment that he has configured, the artist presents a selection of works that reinforces his interest in the concept of exhibition as a generative place, an inner space and a purely mental landscape to experiment with and test our tangible reality. Conceived as a spatial-temporal experience, the set of works, mostly shown for the first time, takes the visitor on a journey between fixed and moving images across a mutating universe made of different organisms in flux.
Farewell to Earth is a series of nine acrylic paintings, in the shape of pentagrams. For many societies, both ancient and contemporary, the pentagram is a symbol of transformation, rebirth and relationship between humans and the Universe. Painted with liquid chromium particles on the back, these pieces acquire a mirror-like quality, thus giving us back our physical presence in a virtual space and incorporating it into an unreal place, without a geography. This experience is intercepted by the reproduction of a set of urban icons with which the artist coexists on a daily basis. Visual noise, almost invisible, that emerges and takes place here.
The One and The Others is the connecting element to his previous exhibition (Íris, Brotéria, 2021). Its presence reinforces the idea of a continuous exhibition, which integrates several universes, in a progression of interactions — a narrative fragmented into different episodes. The work is a light sculpture composed of nine ellipses that evoke the idea of a system. Based on a set of drawings produced by the Spiritual Automata machine, which were presented in the gallery in 2019, the piece presupposes the hypothetical existence of a planet in the solar system which is still unknown. This cosmic and metaphorical vision incites a reflection about the dynamics, behaviours and group identity within a system. While some shapes seem to be isolated, others appear in the anonymity of the whole. In any case, they can only exist interdependently.
Bonus is a ghost that integrates the exhibition’s narrative intermittently and alternately with the other pieces. It is a hyper-real moment that accompanies, in real time, the International Space Station’s (ISS) progress as it orbits the Earth at a speed of roughly 27.000 km/h, every 90 minutes, completing 16 laps per day. Evangelista has appropriated the continuous live stream, broadcasting it live and on a larger scale, every 45 minutes. This transmission is accompanied by a soundtrack that results from an expanded abstraction of a version of the Beatles’ song Because, which imparts a melancholic character to the experience — not only from an environmental perspective in relation to the planet Earth, but also in the face of ruptured political and social relationships today. The ISS has been a symbol of union since the 90s — the result of a joined effort from several nations (now divided) towards a shared curiosity.
Ylem the Egg (HD video, colour, sound, 8 min), the work that completes the exhibition’s cosmology, portrays the hatching of one of the largest birds on the planet. Through a fictional narrative around the egg and the bird, the video alludes to the Jurassic period, the concepts of beginning and origin, the Big Bang and the relationship between interior and exterior at different scales. ‘Ylem’ was not only the name that was given in the lab to the egg represented in the video; it is also the term for the ‘primordial matter’ believed to constitute the Universe at the beginning of its formation. That which several ancient mythologies have named the ‘cosmic egg’.