Invited to develop a project for the outside of a train on the Sintra urban line, which took the form of a thin vinyl film applied over an extension of four carriages, Didier Fiúza Faustino (Chennevières-sur-Marne, 1968) examines an analogy between the bodies’ skin, a surface of contact and communication with the world, and that of the train, a surface of contact and connection with the territory through which it travels.
The body-machine is here ‘tattooed’ and metamorphosed into ‘a map of the sky’, evoking a constellation of signs in perpetual movement (like a map of the stars or the astral map of the signs of the zodiac) and a fluid cosmology of individual and social bodies.
Drawings and words are inscribed on the surface of the train, echoing the imagetic repertoire of tattoos, a sum of many singularities gathered and ‘mapped’ in the given space and time of a journey.
Much like tattooing itself, each of these drawings is a long-term representation or inscription of an event, a celebration, a desire, ideas, rites of passage or mourning, or values of belonging to a group or community.
In this continuous and reversible individual-collective movement, the work also incorporates the passengers themselves, referencing their own tattoos and opening up the collective space of the train to the celebration of these personal stories and memories. In this process, the journey as a space for socialisation becomes an intimate experience.
While the train itself is a device for connecting places, populations and experiences, a builder of ‘territory’, it also gives rise to a disruption (deviation) in the perception and experience of space and time as a device of movement and duration, of displacement and wandering, and of impermanence and exploration, opening up the time of a journey to dream and escape (freedom).
Indeed, time itself is one of the central elements of ‘a map of the sky’, incorporating the biographic sense of time of the artist and his memories of train journeys between Portugal and France. A personal history that, like tattoos, finds echoes in a collective history of Portuguese immigration.
Curator: Rita Fabiana
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.Learn more