Lua Cão is an experimental exercise testing the crossing of artworks by Alexandre Estrela and João Maria Gusmão + Pedro Paiva. Occupying the space of a deactivated sawmill in Bairro Alto, this exhibition, curated by Natxo Checa, is made of some twenty pieces dealing with moving image: videos by Alexandre Estrela and 16mm films by João Maria Gusmão + Pedro Paiva. These works, spread all throughout the old industrial area, not only share screens and other projection devices but also form constellations of pieces that get activated at different moments of the visit. In its morphology, Lua Cão appears as a lateral, performative cinema that, based on the mechanics of vision, defies the usual perceptive and phenomenological protocols to institute the distended and immersive experience of a panoscope.
When first thinking of it, little would suggest a connection between the universes of Alexandre Estrela and João Maria Gusmão + Pedro Paiva. If the former develops his work out of a conceptual and structural meta-system, based on an attentive reflection on aesthetic and perceptual phenomena, the latter ground their research in the phenomenological framework of a speculative and poetic proto-science. Thus, from the meeting of these two universes, there emerge no linear narratives; it rather elicits an empathic and casual synchrony that leads the viewer’s attention toward the shared, empty spaces, toward the materialization and objectualisation of the image, the alignment of the pieces or the intervals generated by the sequences.
The collaboration between these artists and Zé dos Bois Gallery has been taking place for more than a decade and a half, coming to fruition in multiple artistic events, both in and outside Portugal. A significant part of the works now presented was carried out in the context of the artistic excursions these authors made with Natxo Checa while producing their exhibitions at ZDB.