STRUCTURES, INDEXES AND PROTOTYPES
11th – 30th May, 2018
Espaço Camões da Livraria Sá da Costa
Praça Luís de Camões, 22, 4th floor, Lisbon
This almost intimate exhibition of Manuel Casimiro seems a provocation. In one of the gallery spaces, there are paintings on whose green, red, and black backgrounds, para-geometric shapes, and lines, and even landscapes, are organized in a kind of polychromatic choreography over space and time. Is it an abstract painting? Is it figurative? Or just meta-art? They certainly are a deconstructive approach to representation and to that thing we call Art.
In another area of the exhibition, we come across a series of ‘photographies érotiques’, acquired by Manuel Casimiro in Portugal, but probably produced in France by the end of 19th Century. They epitomize the canons of voyeurism, of course. However, these ‘rectified ready-mades’, as Duchamp would call them, were approached by the so-called ‘casimirian’ ovoids, ceasing to be, as a consequence of this unexpected visit and metamorphosis, just copies of a collection of art in the era of its mechanical reproduction (Walter Benjamin), thus retrieving the old authorship and the material uniqueness of the artwork—the one that results from the appropriation carried out by Manuel Casimiro, but also by the unknown author who ‘took’ photographs of equally unknown flesh-and-blood models.
The new originality has thus a double origin, two inscriptions and a reinforced certification, for which a photographer, an industry and a gesture of semiological displacement (‘casimiriana’) converged.
Manuel Casimiro is a Portuguese painter, sculptor, and photographer. In his long career, he has exhibited, individually and collectively, in many European countries, in the USA, Brazil, and China. His works are part of many private collections and museums such as Calouste Gulbenkian, Berardo Collection, Serralves Foundation, Centro Gallego de Arte Contemporáneo and many others.