Miguel Palma, Instalação Ariete, 2005, Porsche Carrera 911, 460 x 182 cm
Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art is pleased to present a solo exhibition by
Opening Reception on Tuesday, Jan 12 at 10 pm
January 12 through February 18, 2006
Tuesday to Friday 11 am > 8 pm
Saturday 12 pm > 8 pm
Between May 20 and June 18 of 2005, artist Miguel Palma (b. Lisbon, 1964) covered 16 000 km throughout Europe in a Porsche Carrera 911. During this period of less than 30 days, he visited 43 museums and contemporary art venues in a campaign to promote his work. Miguel Palma´s show at Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art gallery wraps up "Projecto Ariete" in a summation of the experience: the car, cockpit, uniform, sound track, sponsors, merchandising and documentation, two videos and several photographs taken along the journey.
The race, which expresses the artist´s desire to address, break and overcome geographic and institutional borders, to promote and establish himself beyond a scene of local paralysis, began less than a year ago outside the headquarters of one of Portugal´s biggest banks and exhibition centers, the Caixa Geral de Depósitos. Palma´s upbeat audience waved the team away in an atmosphere touched by a scent of camaraderie…
Palma, together with his colleague, cameraman and road map, João Bonito, traveled with two halves of a transparent missile on top of the car. One half contained a MIG flight helmet produced in the USSR; the other part of the missile carried an F15 helmet. On entering museums, Palma would carry the American half of the missile, a video, a selection of about 50 works on a CD-Rom, a T-shirt and mock-up book, documentation that he would explain and leave to whomever he encountered on his journey. This friendly gesture marks an offering during a time of peace marred by economic interests and deadlocks.
Once concluded, "Projecto Ariete" raises several issues, for instance the complex notion of competition, travel, reception and the much-procured artistic acceptance within the international arena.
With the awareness that the sportsman has ceased to be a man struggling against his physical limitations in order to become a servant of the masses and reaction, Miguel Palma places himself once more in the position of the contestant in his own race. Staging the sports mythology of the belle époque, he focuses mechanical skill and the automobile as the sportsman´s tool. With the machine at his service, Palma challenges the enemy coalition of space (artistic internationalization) and time (how artists careers are made at the tender age of 20 and break shortly after) through speed; he displaces futurist ideology by staging it in late-modern culture, where competitive ideology is at the service of competitive society.
In modern times, travel was undertaken often with an eye to social healing, rather than physical or spiritual wellbeing. Travel was seen as a generative experience, a way to feel edified. What Miguel Palma´s videos reveal is the profound feeling of stagnation, rather than such a productive and fulfilling activity. The sense of familiarity of the museums and cities is negative and far from comforting, repetition not only numbs the artist, but those of us who see these continuous cities and museums. ND
Miguel Palma would like to extent a special word of thanks to the Oeiras Town Council for enabling his work.
For further information, kindly contact Inês Teixeira [firstname.lastname@example.org] [+351 213 959 559]