Landesmuseum Joanneum

Pedro Cabrita Reis (born 1956, Lisbon) is a master of cohabitation: his impressive œuvre consists of architectural, sculptural and painterly body of work, woven of a fabric of the everyday life, commonplace surroundings, construction materials and architectural semantic appropriated from an existing reality and miraculously transformed into altars of an almost spiritual experience. Practicing his alchemy of the everyday, the artist turns the familiar into sublime, the trivial into a precious and valuable, achieving the noble levels of human perception, emotion and appreciation of the world. Pedro Cabrita Reis’ ongoing – conceptually nomadic – architecture-cross-installation-cross-sculpture project, “True Gardens” further explores a micro-cosmos of primordial matters as confronted by specificities of local settings and their parameters. The previous versions, realized in Crestet, Stockholm, Dijon and London were entering in a particular, extremely personal relationship with a given site and its exceptional genius loci. “True Gardens #1 (Crestet)” (2000), for instance, included a collection of mirrors, interrupted by two enamelled panels and placed on a wooden platform in the Art Centre’s patio, thus generating a synergy between the natural environment and the application of industrial materials, while “True Gardens #3 (Dijon)” (2004) built up an inner landscape of light whose intensity conspired with the interior’s own volume thus producing a polyphonic spatial experience of omni-sensorial nature. Developed especially for the Kunsthaus Graz, Cabrita Reis’ “True Gardens #6 (Graz)” is the artist’s yet another chapter in this specific fashion of “garden design”. Here, the organic and the biomorphic but also the utopian and the futuristic of the Cook&Fournier’s architecture converse with the seemingly minimal, still and sublime structure. “True Gardens #6 (Graz)” marks a bold and radical attempt at conquering and simultaneously taming the resistant and subversive space of the Kunsthaus Graz. Pedro Cabrita Reis enters the almost neo-baroque upper floor with a particular modesty and humility: his monumental installation is a maze of light and glass, supported by wooden blocks and distributed regularly through the open curvilinear surface of Space01. “True Gardens # 6 (Graz)” is composed of 88 individual elements, each of them having a similar basic structure: a labyrinthine box-like construction (approx. 25x200x125cm) made of yellow doka wood, accommodating 3-4 standard fluorescent lights, and covered by a large transparent glass (laminated, 8mm thick sheets of 250x125cm). Each box includes too 1 or 2 painted with different colours sheets of glass of slightly smaller dimensions. As such, with its rigor of horizontality and flatness, it recalls a painterly tableau of possible narratives that performs both a harmony and a contrast, and acts simultaneously as a gesture of disagreement and embrace towards its hosting site and its dynamic geometry. The industrial materials (neon tubes, glass sheets, rough wooden modules, meters of electric wires) and the visible signs of working process turn the space into a massive construction site where mental and physical labours contribute to reveal a meaning and a mystery of the inner and outer worlds. Cabrita Reis’ performative installation radiates with the intensity of light, and the silence which mutates into an almost disquieting stillness generates a poetic dimension which transforms the space into a site of contemplation and a melancholic palace of spatial communion. According to Cabrita Reis, gardens are the geometry for nature. They express the artist’s utopian search for a clarity and order in a world dominated by aggressive discourses and superficial emptied rhetoric. In such mythological shelter, a locus of truth resides: transparent, reflective, naked, a landscape of elemental passions and basic knowledge, a residue of emotions and an assemblage of memories. The catalogue which has been published at the occasion of the exhibition includes essays by Jose Miranda Justo, Alessandra Ponte and Georges Teyssot, Felicity D. Scott, Philip Ursprung, Adam Budak as well as a conversation between Pedro Cabrita Reis and Peter Pakesch and rich visual material, composed of a documentation of previous versions of “True Gardens” and “True Gardens #6 (Graz)” installation shots from Kunsthaus Graz. The exhibition is accompanied by the following events: Friday, February 1, 2008 3pm: Artist talk Pedro Cabrita Reis: “Considerations on Gardens and Few Other Things”, Needle, in English Tuesday, February 12, 2008/7pm, Space04/Film screening The Draughtman’s Contract (1982, dir. by Peter Greenaway), and a selected short film by Archigram Tuesday, April 22, 2008/7pm, Space04/Film screening L‘Année Dernière à Marienbad/ Last Year in Marienbad (1961, dir. by Alain Resnais), and a selected short film by Archigram Tuesday, April 29, 2008/7pm, Space04/Lectures Felicity D. Scott: One or Many Truths Philip Ursprung: “Ruins in Reverse”. The Art of Pedro Cabrita Reis and the Eternal Present More exhibitions in Kunsthaus Graz: Hanspeter Hofmann Bonheur automatique January 19 – February 3, 2008 Finissage on Friday, February 1, 2008, 7pm Swiss artist Hanspeter Hofmann will be exploring the interaction of mass media and auratic images during a two-week printing workshop he is running in Space04. Starting from existing graphics that the artist will rework with the assistance of a printing machine, information and images arising on a daily basis will be integrated and processed in a performative act. Manuel Knapp Stroboscopic Noise~ January 26– February 10, 2008/Space02, BIX façade Opening: Friday, January 25, 7pm In his video work Stroboscopic Noise~, Manuel Knapp investigates the aesthetic possibilities of a line choreographed in a reduced formal environment. The after-images created by strobos-copic effects constitute a complex architecture where the animation is accompanied by a subtle sound of various sinusoidal oscillations. Stroboscopic Noise~ will be shown in adapted forms as a trailer at the Diagonale film festival and on the BIX façade.
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