> Joana Vasconcelos
This monograph on Joana Vasconcelos is the fourth
volume promoted by ADIAC-Portugal, in less than two years.
Founded in April 2005 as a collectors association.
ADIAC-Portugal came upon the need of helping Portuguese artists
in divulging their oeuvre on an international scale. It is suprising
that an artist with a curriculum such as Joana Vasconcelos’,
which already includes a participation in the Venice Biennale
(“A Noiva”, 2005) and in the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial
(“Message in a Bott1e”, 2006), does not yet possess
that fundamental work and research instrument for both the public
and the cultural agents who wish to become acquainted with her
language and artistic trajectory.
With this new edition, ADIAC reiterates’
both its interest in fostering emergent Portuguese artists, as
well as their ambition in filling the void which presently exists
It is part of our communication strategy to
invite foreign personalities to reflect on the work of Portuguese
artists. For having accomplished this mission with extraordinary
acuity and lucidity, we would like to thank Jacinto Lageira and
Agustin Perez Rubio. At present there seems to be nothing more
we could add to their writing, but we would like highlight the
artist’s ability to reflect on issues as pertinent and as
contemporary as national identity and the way in which a peripheral
country, integrated within a large community, positions itself
in an ever more “global” world.
By capturing “l’air du temps"
in a very unique way, Joana Vasconcelos has managed to take advantage
of her own idiosyncrasies (doubly European; born in a country
where her parents had been granted political asylum; pursues her
career in a sector dominated by the male gender).
If “O Barco da Mariquinhas” (a small
boat covered in ordinary tiles) summarizes, ironically, the state
of the nation, it also renders evident that a time when fishermen
earned a modest living out of the waters of the river Tagus is
now nothing more than nostalgia. Gone are the days of the great
discoveries, the epopee on which we raised our identity.
In the pieces comprised of faience dogs covered
in crochet-work, the combination of elements of a typically Portuguese
quotidian, both industrially and manually crafted, reveals the
capacity to subvert the aesthetical meaning which they would have
hold separately and ends up generating a work of art where the
social significance of each element has been changed.
If in “ Pop Champagne” (2006) the
sphere of national identity (the use of bottles of Portuguese
beverages) confronts itself with artistic symbology (formal relation
with Duchamp's Porte Bouteille), in “Burka” (2002)
that confrontation is reflected in a strong symbolical relationship
of a political nature and of great international actuality.
ADIAC is thus proud of, with this extra volume, being able to
contribute to a greater visibility of Portuguese contemporary
art and artists.
Antonio Veiga Pinto / Marc Pottier