Unfinished Journeys - Group show view at Nasjonalmuseet for kunst, arkitektur og design, Oslo, 2012
Soundscape or attempt to reproduce the sound of the day before, 2007
Ink jet, Semi Matte Photo Paper. 120 x 120 cm. Edition of 1 plus 1 A.P.
trolley, speaker, video monitor, cables. Video, 2'20'', loop. Edition of 1 plus 1 A.P.
Nasjonalmuseet for kunst, arkitektur og design, Oslo
16th March - 20th May 2012
Curated by Sabrina van der Ley
Rui Calçada Bastos (b.1971 in Lisbon) is a nomad. Accordingly, travel, dislocation, and not belonging are recurrent motifs in his work. Techniques like the reflection, doubling or juxtaposition of images underline the feeling of existing between fixed abodes. His installation "Soundscape or Attempt to reproduce the soundscape of the day before" (2007) consists of a photography and a video playing on a small monitor which has been sloppily strapped onto a cheap trolley, a device that could be associated with homeless people. The video shows the artist walking through different neighborhoods of Macao, dragging along a huge empty cooking pot, an apparently pointless action but a poignant evocation of both the visual and auditory landscape of the city. But the prevailing sound is of the metal scraping over pavement and asphalt.
The presentation of the video on a trolley suggests a continuation of the journey as a loop pr some kind of Sisyphean act; even more so, since the attempt to reproduce the original experience is bound to fail, given that past and present will always blend into something new. The literally moving image is juxtaposed with a still photograph of the walk. This aspect of doubling can be related to the fact that, as a teenager, the artist had lived for several years in what was then the Portuguese colony Macao, before returning there with a stipend. The impossible journey initiated by the work reflects the endeavor to join his familiarity with the city in the past with that of the present.
Rui Calçada Bastos lives and works mainly in Berlin and Lisbon
Sabrina van der Ley in Unfinished Journeys Catalogue