AUTHOR: IVO MARTINS
EDITION: (Catalogue) Centro Cultural Vila Flor DATE: March 2020
When an artist dies prematurely, any exhibition of their work involves various dangers, especially those that incite feelings of loss. Admitting this tendency is equivalent to stating that this exhibition perhaps has a specific purpose, which is not the case. At first, we only had a few rudimentary ideas, stemming from a strange sense of urgency, spurred on by a willingness to show works by an artist who had developed a core set of unique images, whose meaning was left open by her untimely death.
Patrícia Almeida's exhibition is an exercise in observation. It combines a strong and comprehensive body of work, organised in a broad sequence of images that express various facets of her oeuvre. The exhibition aims to challenge unprepared spectators, inviting them to merge with the artist's observant and attentive gaze, materialised by blending roles, in which Patrícia Almeida and the beholder are encouraged to question themselves, in a transformative learning process, in relation to signs of our epoch.
Considering that all idea-based systems, immediately after being constituted, commence a struggle for their own survival, Almeida offer us a peaceful serenity, revealing places that are devoid of existential intensity and tension. People appear to be absent entities, not dependent on the obligation to have any followers. The individual discovers his place in the income-driven society, that addresses everything through an attitude of exclusion. Her photographs reveal an idea of ??emptiness, an absence of ideological confrontation, suggesting higher positions and elevation of the spirit to subjective dimensions, based on personal and solitary interior universes. In an increasingly competitive world, the success of the strongest is an extremely attractive temptation. It expresses ideologies of supremacy that have spread far and wide. It presupposes deviations in equality, through intensification of uniformity. The imbalances caused by majority-rule systems generate social, economic, political, cultural conflicts ... in excessively homogeneous contexts, that demand distancing from the most lucid subjects, in relation to established powers. Urban and non-urban landscapes increasingly reflect this reality. The photographs on display skilfully show how today's societies, once consolidated and institutionalised, are unable to moderate the impact of power strategies. Given that they cannot contain ambitions for influence or populist tendencies, they increasingly uncover no-man’s lands, in some cases saturated with information, in other cases abandoned, waiting for new uses, while all of them are controlled and observed.
In this exhibition, the artist's works represent a broad process of critical reflection, focused on the subject, who assumes the role of a witness in a character-free narrative. It describes the story of a being who has to constantly share outdated knowledge in an enigmatic and transitory world. Critical activity is thereby confined to a single person (the author) who assumes responsibility for giving a voice to a set of emotions and thoughts, expressed in a worldview that denounces radical views and violence. These photographs reflect the tremendous human qualities of the artist who, by ensuring that her art survives in ambiguous spaces of restlessness and restlessness, project them into sometimes contradictory and sometimes sensitive visions, based on the enormous potential of truth.
TRANSLATION: MARTIN DALE