Caroline Pagès Gallery: Mafalda Santos - The Kappa Effect - 8 June 2011 to 17 Sept 2011
© Mafalda Santos, 2011
The Kappa Effect
June 8 - September 17, 2011
Opening on Wednesday June 8 at 10 pm
The Caroline Pagès Gallery is delighted to present the first solo exhibition of Mafalda Santos at the gallery.
“…As I write these words, even so as to be able to write them, I am pretending to a unity that, deep inside myself, I know now does not exist.” - William Hamilton
The theme of networks, of the organization of information, represented as a visual essay on realities as diverse as are the correlations between cultural agents, bibliographical elements and specific events are the recurring object of Mafalda Santos’ work. By glancing through her route so far, we become aware of the development of an increasingly complex research, the contours of which is already visible in her first solo exhibit dating from 2004 and held at PêSSEGOpráSEMANA, one of the stages of Porto’s alternative art scene between 2000 and 2007, where Mafalda was also a curator. In Blackboard (2004), the artist moves towards the representation of networks through the organization of the names of its constituents, a work furthered in Ambiente de Trabalho, created as part of the Terminal project (Fundição de Oeiras, 2005) and Maze (Museum of Contemporary Art of Elvas, 2009). In Too Loud a Solitude (Mad Woman in the Attic, Porto, 2006) she begins the exploration of an emotional bibliography, reproducing a mental structure that can be identified as a learning process. In 2009, and still in this line, she presents One day every wall will fall (Galeria Presença, Porto) where she correlates political events with international exhibits held after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The Kappa Effect , the exhibition now presented at the Caroline Pagès Gallery, comes as the continuation of this process and is particularly linked to her 2010 exhibit, The Great Unconformity (Sala do Veado, Lisbon), where Mafalda Santos delved into the problem posed by inscription processes within the construction of narratives. In the work now presented, the artist broadens the scope of this issue to include the nature of perception. If error, deviation and omission play a fundamental role in the construction of our personal histories, we must also beware the limits and deviations inherent to the way in which our cognitive processes codify the world around us. Whereas in the first exhibit memory was the issue at hand, in The Kappa Effect, the main issue is that of perception. This series of acrylic paintings, of shapes evocative of irises, marks this intention while suggesting a concentric movement – defining a place of language, not unlike a Cartesian Theatre. Faced with this centrality, we are forced to articulate the idea of I, swiftly countered by the installations on the wall (paper drawings), a counterpoint to our very intuition, showing samples of time folded upon itself. These drawings do not suggest centrality; rather, they propose the idea of an organic and convoluted system that cannot be touched, as it is, in and of itself, composed of all its elements. The reference to H.G Wells’ Tales of Space and Time, within which time and space are folded – and where we may find fantastic bridges between a London antiquarian and a Martian tower – represents the ability our cognitive systems have to transform anything. They hold the key to time and are able to alter the structure of space.
After all, we do not have a history – we are our own history. All these processes – including error, revisionism, omission, amnesia and deceit – are parts of a body and collaborate to construct a competitive system we perceive as the idea of self. The progressive detection of all these errors, flaws and deviations constitutes the first set of clues that, in the last 50 years, have begun to suggest that the unity of self is rather an illusion imposed by language and started the dismantling of the notion of the existence of a Cartesian Theatre, a physical part of the brain whence consciousness is formed. Apparently, this is all much more complex and "I" is no more than a resonance – millions of simultaneous operations, participated by an immeasurable number of functions, often conflicting, overlapped, redundant and folded upon themselves.
With The Kappa Effect, Mafalda Santos leaps off inconformity, off the flaw in register or memory, and into the direct matter of perception. While we apprehend time as continuous and indivisible, within the processes that organize and originate consciousness we may count innumerable cases of "intertemporal bargaining"; overlaps between past and future events that stop us from accessing a precise chronology of the sequence of events we take part in. The term "kappa effect" concerns a phenomenon observable, for example, in a journey consisting of two parts that take the same amount of time. The part that covers more distance will be perceived as taking longer. Suggesting a journey, the artist presents proposals focusing on the deformities that filter how we perceive and conceive time and space. The idea of narrative is tangled. As conscious structures on the edge of linear time and time as it is understood, we are limited by the latter.
- José Roseira, May 2011
Mafalda Santos (Oporto, 1980) holds a degree in painting from the Oporto Faculty of Fine Arts. Between 2007 and 2008 she was a resident at Location One, NYC, with a grant from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Luso-American Development Foundation.
In the last decade, she has regularly been taking part in numerous collective exhibitions among which are: Transporto Sempre uma Viagem, Galeria Quadrum, Lisbon, 2011; A Culpa Não é Minha, Works from the António Cachola Collection, curated by Eric Corne, Berardo Collection Museum, Lisbon, 2010; O Dia Pela Noite, curated by Susana Pomba, Lux Frágil, Lisbon, 2010; A Escolha da Critica, curated by Lígia Afonso, Plataforma Revolver, Lisbon, 2009; Hospitalidade, curated by Miguel von Hafe Pérez, São João Hospital, Oporto, 2009; Only Connect, curated by Cecilia Alemani (Art in General), Bloomberg Office Building, New York, 2008; Café Portugal, curated by Filipa Oliveira, in Évora, Bratislava and Ponte Delgada, 2008/2009; Portugal Agora-A Propos des Lieux d’Origine, MUDAM Centre d’Art Moderne Gran-Duc Jean, Luxemburg, 2007; EDP Novos Artistas, Oporto, 2007; Depósito-Apontamentos sobre Densidade e Conhecimento, Reitoria da Universidade do Porto, 2007; 7/10–7 artistas ao 10º mês, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, 2005 and Toxic, o Discurso do Excesso, Fundição de Oeiras, 2005.
Her individual exhibitions include: The Great Unconformity, Sala do Veado, National Museum of Natural History, Lisbon, 2010; One day every wall will fall, Galeria Presença, Oporto, 2009; Tamatave, Galeria Presença, Lisbon, 2006 and Too Loud a Solitude, Mad Woman in the Attic, Oporto, 2006.
Her work has integrated the Portuguese collections of António Cachola, EDP and Ilídio Pinho Foundations, and of the RAR Group.
Caroline Pagès Gallery
Rua Tenente Ferreira Durão, 12 – 1º Dto.
[Campo de Ourique]
Tel. 21 387 33 76
Tm. 91 679 56 97
Aberto ao público de 2ª a Sábado das 15h às 20h e por marcação fora deste horário.