Cerqueira and Sousa's studio space in a former typographer's shop
Mauro Cerqueira and André Sousa are the founders of Uma certa falta de coerencia / A certain lack of coherence, an artist-run space near Porto's city center. Located on Rúa dos Caldeireiros ("Street of Copper Smiths"), a street formerly known in Porto's history for its craftsmen workshops, both the studio the art space pay tribute to and play with the historical site of creation and work. Through Uma certa falta de coerencia, Cerqueira and Sousa invite participating artists to create site-specific installations that explore, in Sousa's words, "the relation between artists (and) how they produce-think-view-support each other." Much of Uma certa falta de coerencia's dynamism comes from the space's many incarnations of identity through the years - participating artists respond to, with, and against its hidden and forgotten rooms, rough hewn walls, and dusty floors. Due to the Cerqueira and Sousa's travel schedules, exhibitions have slowed down, but their online archive shows the space as a host to a compelling variety of experiments and practices that have helped foment the Porto art community.
Futurar, 2015. Photos from the artist's website
Cerqueira's works utilize long-history objects in contemporary shorthand. His installations are curious, and importantly, they make the viewer curious- Cerqueira's arrangements tap objects' provenance while proposing new possibilities. Futurar (2015) came from observations of a building site where workers accidentally excavated what was a cemetery hundreds of years earlier. After a brief intervention by an archaeological team, many human bones remained. Heavy rains brought a muddy reburial at the site, and it was soon covered by a parking lot. Cerqueira sorts through land grabs, time cycles, and old world news as he arranges a human skull taken from the site with other found or made materials on top of marble plaques that look like floating islands or graves. Unlike the rest of Europe, architecture in Portugal remained largely intact during World War II. For Cerqueira, these layers of history imbue him with a sense of deep time - his work reconfigures primary materials into and out of puzzles.