Alumni: Henrique Pavão
Henrique Pavão - Almodôvar Mirror Site
Exhibitions runs: 8 June - 6 July
Open: Fridays + Saturdays 2-6pm
Curated by Sérgio Fazenda Rodrigues
The Portuguese artist Henrique Pavão’s Almodôvar Mirror Site (2016) shows a synchronized pair of slide projections of seemingly identical motorway service stations located on opposite sides of the route between Lisbon and the Algarve, each serving a different destination. The artist and a collaborator, facing in opposite directions, examined the 11 petrol stations along the road while in mobile phone contact to ascertain the similarities between the pairs; they concluded that only a single pairing was in fact identical, offering itself as a ‘mirror-site’ chiming with American artist Robert Smithson’s Yucatan Mirror Displacements (1969) close to half a century earlier. As the slides of Almodôvar Mirror Site flash up the experience of being in two places at the same time is highlighted. In practice however, the twinned images can only be taken in together through extreme peripheral vision as they are projected onto screens at opposite sides of the space at SE8 gallery. Pavão sets out to demonstrate the mechanics of time and place; to accomplish this feat analog technology is employed as an analogy – in which the input and the output largely correspond like the mechanical minute hand on a clock that performs an entire circle to describe the hour. And yet, the mechanical performance of these prosaic images that demonstrate similitude, displaces a quasi mystical quest for a lost domain that can never be attained – the complete mirror site, the Aleph, the place of all places - masking ’the unsatisfied desire for that which is always missing and found wanting in modern rationalist society: the miraculous’.
The artist is currently showing at the Museum of Art Architecture & Technology (MAAT Lisbon) as part of the 5 shortlisted candidates for the EDP Young Artist Prize and is represented by UMA_LULIK.
The exhibition is accompanied by the book Henrique Pavão: Almodôvar Mirror Site published by Mulberry Tree Press with texts by Sérgio Fazenda Rodrigues, Nicolas de Oliveira/Nicola Oxley, and the artist.
171 Deptford High Street, London SE8 3NU