Visual Arts

Para uma ciência transitória do indiscernível: a Abissologia

— João Maria Gusmão by Pedro Paiva

07.02 — 13.04.08
Galeria Torreão Nascente da Cordoaria Nacional

Para uma ciência transitória do indiscernível: a Abissologia is a project by João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva, curated by Natxo Checa, produced and presented by ZDB at the Torreão Nascente Gallery of the Lisbon National Chamber Of Lisbon.
Composed of works created on different media such as 16mm film, sculpture, installation, and photography, this essay by the artist duo introduces a new fictional model stemming from themes hitherto only outlined in the previous project entitled Eflúvio Magnético.
Abyssology, or the science that studies the abyss, refers to a neologism found in the book by René Daumal La Grande Beuverie, a satirical novel with metaphysical contours. The discovery of this literary term, in the context of the artistic practice of João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva, is reflected in a fiction that focuses on the literary composition of a specific science of bodies thought in the function of the phenomenological/ontological condition of the visible minimum – which you hardly see it or what it has almost no existence for an observer – whether in the eclipsed vision of the eye, in the snapshot of an explosion or in the complex movement of the water. Let us say that the one who studies the science of the abyss has in his indiscernible singularities his highest research interest. Similar to the theory developed by the pre-Socratic atomists, the Abyssologist theses refer to discrete data of a certain metaphysics to approach the depth of the real with the utmost care. We can frame Abyssology as a discipline with roots as diverse as Alberto Caeiro’s materialist poetry, Epicurus and Lucretius’ philosophy, Alfred Jarry’s Patafísica, Gurdjieff and Ouspensky’s occultism, Harold Edgerton’s scientific images, or Ètienne- zootrope Jules Marey, the experiments in Michel Siffre’s glacier chambers, or Gustav Meyrink’s philosophical-literary constructions, etc …
Following the relationship between ZDB and the artists, which has been running since 2001, this project started to be designed after a creative residency in Angola, starting a work process that would be adopted and continued on other creative and production trips. With the collaboration of partners such as the Luanda Triennale, the Inhotim Foundation, or the Ilídio Pinho Foundation, Abyssology was developed during trips also to Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and Morocco.

João Maria Gusmão + Pedro Paiva

João Maria Gusmão (1979, Lisbon) and Pedro Paiva (1977, Lisbon) have graduated in Painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts of Lisbon and exhibited together since 2001. They were awarded the 2004 EDP New Artists Award, and represented Portugal at the 2009 Venice Biennale, curated by Natxo Checa. They held individual exhibitions at the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham; at the Mercer Union Center for Contemporary Visual Art in Toronto; no Kunstverein Hannover; at the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco; in the Museum of Contemporary Art of Castilla y León, in Leon; at the Chiado Museum in Lisbon; at the Graça Brandão Gallery in Lisbon; among others. They also participated in several collective exhibitions, in Portugal and abroad, in which the 8th Gwangju Biennial in South Korea stand out; and the XXVII Biennial of São Paulo. His works are represented in the collections Tate Modern, MUDAM (Luxembourg), MUSAC, GAM (Bergamo), Serralves Foundation, Chiado Museum, among others.

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