Alexandra Ferreira & Bettina Wind

No record, just a sound

0728 July 2013

Building on their residency at Gasworks, the show starts from the experience of a gap, and a gap in experience. Circling an event in the history of London, the artists consider the exile of young Brazilian musicians Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil to this city from 1969 to 1972. Evoking the intangible traces of this period, the exhibition destabilizes the measurable distance between past and present by working between material and immaterial modes of production.

In Brazil during the 60’s, Veloso and Gil became central figures in the ‘Tropicalia’ movement, forming a multi-referential style that mixed rhythmic influences in a celebration of regional culture and authenticity combined with the concept of ‘Anthropofagia’ or cannibalistic culture. Yet in London the two musicians found themselves on the other side of history, without access to a public sphere and addressing an absent Brazilian public.

Their notion of performance shares certain characteristics with political activities, being without product, open to contingencies, and in need of a public sphere. The exhibition takes up this notion and extends it to a superimposition of body and place, between perceptions of London and imaginaries of Brazil. Taking distance from the physical products of this period, the artists link specific media to narratives, adding and subtracting from memories to move towards abstraction or fiction.

This multidirectional process produces a balancing act between different positions, as each work develops a pocket in space in time. Feeling around the borders of Tropicalia and playing with its imagery, what emerges is the immaterial production of sensibilities and subjectivities taking place somewhere in between a specific time and place and the perspective of the present.

Alexandra Ferreira and Bettina Wind were born in Estoril, Portugal, and Munich, Germany, respectively and are currently living and working in Lisbon and Berlin. Recent solo shows include Ad Hoc / Bridging, South African National Gallery and Evil Son Project Space Cape Town (2012) and This is Not the Documentation of a Performance, Atelier Real, Lisbon (2010), group shows include Le Rayon Vert, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2011), The Lost Art of Travellers, Dallas (2011), Lisboa como Metáfora, Galeria Quadrum Lisboa (2010), and Becoming Dutch, Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven (2008).