Cristina Regadas, Sin título, 2010
Cristina Regadas and José Almeida Pereira are artists in Porto, Portugal. Together with the designer Miguel Flor they operated Fundaçao / Foundation, an independent art space in Flor's basement from 2009 to 2012. In addition to their individual art practices, Regadas and Pereira are currently developing a publication in commemoration of the Foundation project through a residency.
Cristina Regadas, 2014 installation. All photos from the artists' websites.
Cristina Regadas' installations and artist books explore photographic processes and results as they guide memory and information-formation. In this piece, Regadas gathers implements of photography- cameras, rolls of film, color slides, and negatives- together with printed images, and slide and film projections glow on surfaces perpendicular to the photographs. The assortment of photographic tools and media on display has the effect of lengthening the photographic 'frame', deprivileging the instantaneous photographic moment in favor of a longer phase that also exposes the steps of her labor. This concept of 'work' is reinforced by Regadas' platform displays, which cause viewers to hover over the images as if they are they ones sifting through photos on the studio work table. Regadas' mixed image groupings move through time periods and bodies of work, raising questions about provenance- are the photos taken from an archive, personal or public? Where and when were the photos made? What does it mean to condense these characters, landscapes, and eras together in this way? Among the thematic relationships, formal connections in the photographs' colors and compositions arise, moving the viewers' eye up, down, and around. Regadas stretches photographic time in a continual investigation of images that are things and things that are images.
José Almeida Pereira, paintings 2014-2015.
José Almeida Pereira's studies of seminal paintings from Western art history are technical wonders delivered with an edge- they duly interrogate and pay tribute to our reverence for certain modes of image making. Pereira's paintings evoke the complicated social and political structures that supported the old masters' methods- colonization, monarchy, and great wealth- as they question how these images play a role in contemporary visual culture. What does it mean to meditate on and revisit, not reenact, these images today? Part of Pereira's project is a play on time and authorship, since these works remain frozen in the collective psyche as one-of-a-kind masterpieces belonging only to a certain artist and time, all of which makes them valuable as cultural artifacts. The distortions that he applies to each image signal that something is afoot, but also add to the piece's technical marvel. Though the works he conveys are figurative, Pereira breaks them down into component shapes and abstract forms in order to reproduce them, occasionally revisiting the original painting in a museum during of after painting his piece. He describes painting as different temporally than any other media because the artist spends time with a surface to create something from nothing. For Pereira, art is an excuse to think, but also a way to play with and question the form's idols.