lundi 5 mai 2008

Ricardo Valentim (Galeria Pedro Cera, Lisbonne)

The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau, 2007

Contenus de la conférence "Models of democry", (model XIII), 2007. wood, metal rod, vinyl, heavy HCF (Acrylic Hard Coat Finish) and spray paint

The artistic practice of Ricardo Valentim systematically aims at the creation of strategies that envisage the redefinition of the construction of established cultural forms. Having as a departure point the use of conventional models of these types of constructions, he searches to recreate spaces where the approached content is presented in an inverted and displaced manner with regards to the audience.

In the films “O Outro Lado do Uso”(L'autre côté de l'usage) and “Floating Island” the artist explores these concepts: in the first case, the daily activity of individuals leaving Starbucks coffee shop holding their beverages is documented by Ricardo Valentim in identical terms to those utilized in the first incursions of ethnographic cinema, thus transforming this act into a strange and exotic event of some distant society. In “Floating Island,” the artist makes use extensively of the same model of ethnographic framing, this time dwelling in the posthumous homonymous work of Robert Smithson. In this work, he explores yet again the implications of authorship and social validation of an event years after the death of the author.

In the series “Start Series”, the artist executes a set of photographs from the beginning of the film’s reel of educational movies from the collections of the “Los Angeles Unified School District.” Each photograph tries to establish a new relation between the different sets of movies.

It will also be presented a group of sculptures that constitute the content of the conference entitled “Models of Democracy.” This conference dwells on the different forms that the concept of democracy can inhabit, searching to create a space for reflection on themes such as globalization and hegemony.

Parallel to the works shown in this exhibition, it will be presented a program of conferences and film screenings. The conference “Growth and Culture” derives from the homonymous book of Margaret Mead and Frances Cooke Macgregor with photographs by Gregory Bateson. In this study the authors examine Bali’s society departing from the analysis of 4.000 images chosen from 25.000 all shot between 1936 and 1939. The work developed by RV employs the same ethnographic model, but instead of using a specific culture, Ricardo Valentim collects data from the diverse places where he habitually circulates. In this event, 30 new slides that utilize the same denomination and graphic design employed in the original book will be shown. However, these slides reflect an update of the concept of representation and development of present-day society. Lastly, the screening of “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau” consists in the projection of seventeen films in 16mm taken from the series “The Undersea World” reedited in short versions to be screened in schools. Born in Portugal, Ricardo Valentim presently lives in New York. He studied anthropology and visual arts in Lisbon and New York respectively.

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