< News & PressEpicentro: Milagre
25 september 2020 – 10 january 2021 - Arquipélago - Contemporary Arts Center
ARTISTS | Berru, Francisco Lacerda, João Ferreira, Tito Mouraz, Vincent Moon e Priscilla Telmon
In the Azores, in a time when the earth shakes every day, the appearance of a new island is said to be imminent. The miracle of a new territory boosts a new future, even if the planet’s transformation by the hand of man pushes us to the earth being submerged, the end of the world and the complete unknown. One lives within an uncontained beauty, a volcanic paradise erected by the overwhelming power of nature, magical and unexpected.
Nature, people, tradition and history are connected in a fascinating geography of power games. Earthquakes and volcanoes, an unfailing but also unforgiving sea, wind, rain and mist which appear as threats of transformation to a safe and recognisable world. It’s feared that the earth will suffer an irreversible death, and through that an identity matrix is defined, which wrestles with the strength of its own hands against instability, insecurity and the uncertainty of life and the elements.
Centuries-old rituals bring together communities around practices of faith and belief, to resist adversity and Nature’s unknown. Men and women are initiated into promises, cults, rites, praises and prayers to gods and places. They do it as a way to explain the world, a way to interpret signs from above, a way to endure the signs of the times.
Processions, empires, pilgrimages, dancing, singing, the adoration of images found in sea - traditions of immersion and cult, redemption and protection, fear and punishment.
Epicentro: Milagre doesn’t fit within the boundaries of what we know of natural law, thus sliding towards faith, belief, delirium, imagination about creation and destruction of nature and culture, the amazing divine, tremor, terror and “what god wills”. The exhibition regards the way in which the specificity of the island molds a cultural identity, “Azorianness” in the image of Vitorino Nemésio, present artists whose work and research incorporate the documentary, the fictional, fantasmagoria or the invitation to immersion.
Artists who work with sound, photography, cinema and installation as triggers of the creative process, and who were challenged to artistic residencias, experimentation and research, production of thought and performance, to create a plurality of perspectives about this natural and cultural territory.
The are gazes from within and without, the ones which now assault the Archipelago, as an exhibitional and performative epicentre. They explore their own dimensions of artistic creation and presentation, contributing tot he reflection and confusion about what we think we know about the island where we stand, and they create an incomplete set of Azores miracles which renews and expands a contemporary art collection.