Floating World is an extensive retrospective show, displaying twenty years of Pedro A.H. Paixão‘s career.
Over recent years, the oeuvre of Pedro A.H. Paixão (Lobito, Angola, 1971) has gained a long overdue presence, public protagonism and critical resonance. Withdrawn, with episodic apparitions, from the visibility and media presence over years of intense and almost secretive work, the artist has forged a thinking and oeuvre of rare depth and power. Drawing is the spinal cord of his oeuvre, the essential conduit for the forces that he has built up and combined from the labyrinth of time into an open clearing, wherein everything seems to advance without barriers or borders. He has forged a world beyond History, in the interstices of a complex geography, in which archaic thinking is conjured up and permanently revisited, to be able to (re)think the place of the contemporary.
The core idea underpinning this exhibition – in which Pedro A.H. Paixão has been challenged to interact extensively with the CIAJG’s collection – is to cast a comprehensive gaze over his oeuvre, embracing works from his early career together with very recent works. It opens the door to new approaches and exploration of resources that haven’t previously been analysed so profoundly.
In addition to presenting a wide range of video works – a medium that Pedro A.H. Paixão has consistently explored, albeit to a lesser extent in recent years in favour of drawing (with many drawings on display) – he presents a sound project, specifically designed for the Collection’s space, in close dialogue with some of his works. This sound project is the main novelty and unifying and disturbing element of the exhibition, which underlines and confers a disquieting character and strange familiarity to the works on display.
Visitors will have the opportunity to discover, or rediscover, a rare oeuvre which reveals political and poetic dimensions, the power of the event to emerge and the testimony of voices silenced by the cruelty of History, the intimate and public spheres, light and darkness. In this context, it seems as if this objective – the power of artistic thinking – confers to his oeuvre the ability to extend the limits of (self) knowledge and deconstruction of the anthropological entity, through its magical, shamanic powers of transformation, into so many other entities – geological, animal, vegetal, spiritual.
The José de Guimarães International Arts Centre is a structure focused on contemporary art and the relationships it establishes with arts from other eras and different cultures and subjects.