Miguel Palma

Brigada Naval

Opening: Friday,  May 13 | 5pm to 9pm
Exhibition: from May 14 to  June 5, 2022
Wed to Fri, from 5 pm – 9 pm | Sat and Sun, from 3 pm – 9 pm
Doca de Belém, 1400-038, Lisboa

In an unexpected occupation of a warehouse belonging to the Clube Naval de Lisboa, Miguel Palma takes over elements found there to create an installation that combines some of the guiding principles of his artistic practice, presented here as part of a dialogue with historically determined architectural and decorative elements.

The centrepiece of the installation is a sailing boat suspended from a small crane. The boat, built in the USA and dated 1943, is set against an impressive mural painting depicting the Portuguese discoveries, which was probably made at the time of the famous Portuguese World Exhibition, held in 1940 in the Belém area in Lisbon. The exhibition’s ideology, a machine of colonialist propaganda, resonates in this mural, now short-circuited by Miguel Palma’s intervention. In fact, the artist is transforming a recreational boat into a hybrid piece using a sail made from the fabric of a military tent. The recreational character of the boat is put on hold by the aggressiveness of this military material, where the artist draws “victory markings”, which are icons of shooting down enemy material (usually painted on military planes and battleships).

A nostalgic work, Brigada Naval refers to the loss of innocence, the need to look critically at the past and, ultimately, to the ability of art to build up territories that question the present. Between reality and fiction, between appropriation and deviant construction, Miguel Palma takes us on a journey where forms dilate into complex ideas.

Miguel von Hafe Pérez

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