Mariana Caló & Francisco Queimadela
Critic’s Guide to the Best Shows in Lisbon: Mariana Caló & Francisco Queimadela, ‘Alfabeto Analfabeto’
Porto-based artists Mariana Caló and Francisco Queimadela have been working together since 2010, often on research-based projects. In their site-specific installation at Monitor, Alfabeto Analfabeto (2018), we are greeted by several gouache and acrylic paintings similar in content. The canvases backgrounds are coloured blue, green, and black and the subject matter resembles an assemblage of knuckle bones. In the gallery’s small basement space, they have painted an immersive all-green environment, with protuberant plaster horns sticking out from the ground, and have included more of the knucklebones-type paintings, and a video. The video appears like a spread from a catalogue: on the left side of the screen you see a Chinese death mask, from the collection of the International Art Center José de Guimarães's (CIAJG), where the artists have been in residence, and on the right side, stones mimicking the mask components. As a hand moves each stone, one by one, the shape of the mask mirrors the changes on the left, all invisibly but painstakingly made in stop-motion. In this show Caló and Queimadela seem to be plunging deep inside the CIAJG’s collection – a trend started by artist José de Guimarães in 1967 – looking for its smallest particles, in what seems like an attempt to interact and decipher its mysterious history.
- Cristina Sanchez-Kozyreva