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Commissioned by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, O Rinoceronte de Dürer [Dürer’s Rhinoceros] was filmed in the panopticon of the Miguel Bombarda psychiatric hospital, built in 1896, and made in collaboration with psychiatric outpatients. The patients are shown in spaces that would have been bedrooms, or cells, in which they imagine themselves as residents of the old asylum and act in bizarre scenarios, in an imaginary reconstruction of everyday life within the institution.
The images are complemented by voiceovers of three texts linked to the theme of the gaze in a static body: a letter from Jeremy Bentham presenting the panopticon as a system for observation, Plato’s Cave and Kafka’s The Burrow.
Simultaneously, a rhinoceros is led around the hospital courtyard. The animal is a reference to Ganda, the rhinoceros that King Manuel I of Portugal sent as a gift to Pope Leo X, but which drowned on the way to Rome.
The work can be interpreted as a memento mori.
In this cycle, we are presenting four films from the CAM Collection that allow us to evaluate and reflect on the structuring role of geometry, both in the precise drawing of its known and derivative forms – fixed in architecture, painting, sculpture and drawing, disciplines that lend themselves to animation and film composition – and in its capacity to symbolically embody characters and narratives.
We will link these four films to the following four modes of the work of geometry, varying in the degree of explicitness and, in some cases, more or less subterranean in nature:
- The polyvalency of animated drawing: S.L.N.D. (Sem Lugar Nem Data) (2001) by Jorge Varanda.
- Geometric characters on the stage/screen: Tree Identification for Beginners (2017) by Yto Barrada.
- The fascination and perversity of the panopticon: O Rinoceronte de Dürer (2010) by Javier Tellez.
- Modernist painting, design and architecture: Albers. Seidler Establishing. Shots (2012-2013) by Narelle Jubelin.
It is important to note that geometry, as an ancient and banal concept of art, is far from being the main topic of these films, all of them containing a great wealth of historical, anecdotal, sociological and artistic concepts.
CAM IN MOTION
CAM in Motion is an ‘outdoor’ programme that brings together a series of site-specific interventions by artists and exhibitions with works from the Collection in different spaces in the city of Lisbon and its surroundings.More info