The work of Carla Filipe (b. 1973) was one of the most significant projects to emerge in Portugal towards the end of last decade. She undertakes an archaeology of the lifestyles and the attendant questions raised during the course of modernity: certain forms linked to expectations of a new world, one whose realisations proved to be extremely diverse. Many of her works expose an autobiographic vein; some deal with episodes in micro-narratives, others with history itself. Constituting all of Carla Filipe’s works is a narrative structure whose mediums are, recurrently, objects, drawing, words and installation.
da cauda à cabeça (from tail to head) is a large-scale project made especially for this exhibition at the Museu Coleção Berardo, gathering some earlier works together with many new ones conceived especially for this event. The project is based on research into the Portuguese railways, and the artist brings into the musem space fragments of buildings, architectural structures, furniture, collections of uniforms, trade union banners, functional mechanisms and elements from the everyday workings of railway stations; fictional and documentary films, interconnected drawings of machines, as well as autobiographic traces. Together these constitute a phantasmagoric archive, stripped of all pretension to scientific accuracy, but exposing a knowingness that remains sensitive to historic reality.
As in most of Carla Filipe’s projects, in da cauda à cabeça, real objects – interrelated but removed from their ordinary usage – trace bundles of relations capable of determining a broad set of narratives, whose apparent simplicity (or even insignificance) is vexed. These objects become a material supplement amidst absent stories that nevertheless employ them as points of departure and locations of return. As such, together they emerge as the space to which memory is consigned; a space that, in Carla Filipe’s work, is awakened and reinvented.
Image: Desenhos técnicos retirados de um manual de formação do pessoal das vias. Courtesy the artist.
Namalimba Coelho T. +351213612637 M. +351961750095 E. firstname.lastname@example.org
Opening 29 January 2014 - 7 p.m.
Museu Coleção Berardo
Praça do Império 1449-003 Lisbon
Hours: Tuesday - Sunday 10am–7pm