Marta Wengorovius

Marta Wengorovius

Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian – Délégation en France

Olho #3 (mise à nu par le soleil), 2006

January 21, 2009

Marta Wengorovius

14 January – 6 March 2009

51, avenue d’Iéna,
75016 Paris

Movement is at the heart of Marta Wengorovius’ work. Her objects, drawings and installations are based on action, motion, both spiritual and physical. They are intended to be used. They are not objects to be observed, contemplated, having an autonomous existence, stripped of function. These art(efacts) draw our attention both to what is looked at, and the act of looking. They invite the spectator to share a personal, direct experience and become actor, observer and witness to this act.

There is an original proposition in Wengorovius’s art, demonstrated through the playful confrontations of a line or a small action in the city that tests our perceptual position. The proposition has to be silent because here, without reason, there can be no purpose to serve, no certainty of a greater future, only a prevarication over what must otherwise be taken to be objective.

The exhibition Mise à nu par l’action [Bared by Action] brings together a series of works created between 2005 and 2008:

In the PROMENADE series, we see juxtaposed images, whose apparent diversity is countered by them being aligned, creating a unity, crossing time, engendering a sense of movement in these fixed images.

They are shown in a continuous movement, more common in the filmic image, keeping a genuine dimension of motion. The measure of each segment is the length of a pace, forcing the observer to move instinctively and thus accept the invitation to follow the picture.

These flat disks, with a hole in the middle to look through, are meant to be held in both hands. Size and appearance vary from one series to the next: one a ‘mirror-eye’, the next a ‘rainbow-eye’. For each object, Marta invites a group of people to share the experience, determines where the event takes place, depending on the object, and each time creates a form of choreography. Hence each object has a precise observation point, yet follows the movement of the one observing it, moving it, becomes a third eye to frame the world.

EYES. Three films by Giovanni Cioni for ‘Using Eyes’.
The sun sets in the ocean. The moon rises over a beach in the Serra de Arrábida. The sun rises over the Alentejo. Three films in which seeing is a ritual, coming together, being there, looking. This ritual makes things happen as for the first time. Through this ritual the film can ask why we are there.

MISE À NU PAR LE DESSIN [Bared by Drawing].
This series of drawings shows lines of a single bright color, in acrylic on paper. Each one is to be used in its own way. Such as this undulating slash of green: the spectator is invited to follow the line with the right hand, all the way to the end, and evermore slowly; this is a gesture inspired from a choreography of Pina Bausch.

It is precisely the way that movement is turned into drawing and then back to movement that we find the key to Wandering Objects: observing becomes an object, is transformed into contemplation and then disappears in action.

Marta Wengorovius was born in 1963 in Portugal. She studied painting at the School of Fine Art in Lisbon (ESBAL) and drawing at AR.CO. Invited to be an observer in 1993 at Goldsmiths College (London), she created the Summer Academy there, which would later take place at Arrábida Convent (Portugal). In 1994, she received the Latin Union Prize. Alongside her artistic work, Marta Wengorovius teaches History of Art and Drawing at the Lusófona University. She lives and works in Lisbon.

Calouste Gulbenkian Cultural Centre
51, avenue d’Iéna, 75016 Paris
T : +33 (0) 1 53 23 93 93
Monday to Friday 9 am to 5:30 pm

Press contact:, 01 53 23 93 78

Calouste Gulbenkian Cultural Centre

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Fondation Calouste Gulbenkian – Délégation en France
January 21, 2009

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