WalkAbout by Rui Calçada BastosExhibition July 27th - August 27th 2006
Invaliden1 is pleased to present the latest works of Portuguese artist Rui Calçada Bastos (Lisbon, 1971).
In the first room, a series of photographs under the title All I had - Paris 2002, All I Had - Berlin, 2003, All I Had -Lisbon 2005, result of a personal documentation process in search of a pattern of personal belongings, seeking objects and memories worth keeping or discharging, from studio to studio, from city to city. Together with this series of photographs, the video Studio Contents (2005), where the list of objects, memories and thoughts is verbalized by an invisible narrator, and computer generated letters appear on the screen as overlapping layers, creating a hierarchy of private values.
The second space of the gallery presents the artists´ latest work, the video Walkabout (2006), in which a man and a woman with their heads covered by a hood, walk through the country side of Inverness in Scotland and the urban landscape of Berlin city. Lost in loneliness, trying to find each other in a never ending walk as in a meditation process.
Somewhere between body and soul, the work of Rui Calçada Bastos celebrates subjectivity much in the heroic manner Walt Whitman did in Song Of Myself: "I have said that the soul is not more than the body/And I have said that the body is not more than the soul/And nothing, not God, is greater to one than one's self is."
This all-encompassing inner world contains, as the poet chanted, multitudes and contradictions. The artist seems to be quite happy to keep on exploring its shifting geographies. His almost naïve allegiance to beauty and craftsmanship further persuade us he has placed himself, per chance or fate, in a great lost lineage of Romantics. Thus, if one were to sum up his approach (or should we say way of life), a fitting expression could be ‘emotional storytelling'. Willing to sacrifice his intimate logs to the brutal exposure of the beholder for the sake of art, this leap of faith - and exhibitionist compulsion... - is only attainable through a devotional belief in the very essence of what things once meant. Something we might still find imprints of, should we not be blinded by cynicism, in the realm of clichés.
By Diogo Lopes