For the second edition of Preview, Madragoa and Ncontemporary are pleased to present Personal cliches, a joint exhibition, bringing together the works of Josh Faught, Luís Lázaro Matos, Joanna Piotrowska and Cristiano Tassinari.
By creating two dialogues, parallel and reciprocal, the exhibition compares the works of the four artists who develop their respective narratives using a different vocabulary: for Faught and Piotrowska made of everyday objects, which are merged into a new story; Matos and Tassinari instead start from objects or emblematic images, in which an idea is crystallized, a stereotype that, through its reinterpretation and insertion within a different context, changes its meaning.
The world of mass media, with its cliches and stereotypes, is the subject of the works of Cristiano Tassinari, which draws on the world of communication, signage with materials and bright colors. In the exhibition, the artist presents an installation in which Auspiscious beast (2016), a bronze sculpture of a dragon, a mythical figure traditionally positioned at the entrance of homes in Southeast Asia, is in this case placed in front of Africanella (2016) a colored neon that represents a face that recalls the stereotyping of Africa in the early 1900s, later reused for marketing purposes.
For Luís Lázaro Matos, the cliché is inseparable from the place where it originated, so much so as to constitute its emblem and even shape it. The project Super Gibraltar (2016), consisting of a video animation and a group of shaped drawings that create an installation, stems from a popular belief that England will retain possession of Gibraltar as long as there are monkeys. This superstition is told by the Portuguese author Ferreira de Castro in a text published in the magazine "A volta do Mundo" in 1942. The peoples inhabiting the Rock of Gibraltar, the only wild monkeys in Europe and paradoxically considered "guarantors" of the established order, of the status quo, become in the work of Matos hybrids. They assume human poses and form a holiday community, testimonial of the place.
The tapestries by Josh Faught are the result of an assemblage between different fabrics: fabrics in cotton, wool, hemp, knitted and crocheted weaves, in some unstitched and worn stitches, to which objects from disparate contexts are superimposed. These are objects of affection, of daily use - from buttons, to plastic biscuits, to shreds of newspapers - which, once inserted in the work, are intertwined at the semantic level to the plot that makes them the basis and with which they interact. As if they were shreds of suspended memory, organized and held together by the fabric, these heterogeneous elements seem to be evading every order at the same time.
The photographs by Joanna Piotrowska show a pile of objects taken from their usual order and combined to form temporary buildings. These are small shelters, like those built by children, built inside different homes by their owners, using all sorts of materials, furniture, tools and objects available, and in which they then lay. Each building offers an "involuntary" portrait of one's inhabitant, entrusted to the objects that tell his life more immediately. Sometimes the precariousness and the circumscribed spaces that they define contain just the body of the person portrayed constructing it, thus transforming itself from shelters, for children's play, in cages, a reversal to which the title Frantic (2016) alludes.