CAM in Motion: Fernanda Fragateiro

Não Ligar (Movimento), 2021

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Fernanda Fragateiro presents a project on the outside of a train on the urban line of Cascais.

Invited to develop a project for the outside of a train on the Cascais urban line, which took the form of a thin vinyl film applied over an extension of four carriages, Fernanda Fragateiro takes up the series Não Ligar, printing a photographic image of one of the fragments of the sculptural piece which extends over the 19 metres length of the train. In its entirety, Não Ligar runs parallel to the landscape, becoming itself a line of landscape in movement or an abstract object of connection.

In 2007, in the former Casa Tavares & Tavares at 1416 Rua dos Fanqueiros in central Lisbon, Fernanda Fragateiro (Montijo, 1962) found small spools of brightly coloured silk buttonholing threads from the Gütermann brand, a company founded in 1864.

The accidental discovery of these materials with ‘history’ – an unexpected archive with links to the history of the German textile industry and to design and the traditional presence of women in this industry – became the starting point for a series of sculptures that recycle and incorporate the full spectrum of silk threads, held in tension between two horizontal points and fixed to a wall.

These contiguous lines of colour stretched between two points of departure, or two points of arrival, recall the use of colour in some minimalist works, an artistic and cultural movement with a curiously masculine history.

The works in the series ‘Não Ligar’ were made between 2007 and 2013, with the last one, which measures some 10 metres long, installed at the UK Branch of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in London. As with the silk lines themselves, the title of the work places the word ligar – which can mean to connect, associate or give attention or importance to – side-by-side with não, which seems to suspend or maintain the previous word in tension rather than negate it.

The analogy between the silk thread and the train line is immediate: both connect or hold within themselves a potential for connection (communication) between portions or fragments of objects and places.

The work thus weaves a seam between the contexts of artistic production and their incomplete narratives (the voids and absences, namely of the women artists in the history of modernism and the avant-garde) and the construction of narratives about the territory crossed by the train, narratives which are also made incomplete and unequal through the selection of some places over others, thus making them socially and culturally invisible and creating obstacles to our material, cultural and symbolic perception of certain parts of the territory in which we live.

Curator: Rita Fabiana



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.

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