Curator: Isabel Carlos
Executive curator: Rita Fabiana
Vasco Ara˙jo was born in 1975 in Lisbon, the city where he lives, and Javier TÚllez was born in 1969 in Valencia, Venezuela, and currently lives in New York. These two artists, who belong to the same generation, already possess a substantial body of work and have growing international reputations. In this respect, we cite by way of example the solo exhibition that Ara˙jo recently staged at Jeu de Paume in Paris and the acquisition of two of his video works by the Centre Georges Pompidou; in TÚllez's case, we can cite his remarkably successful participation in the last Whitney Biennial in New York, or the recent acquisition of the 2004 work La passion de Jeanne D'Arc (Rozelle Hospital) by the Tate Modern in London.
This type of anthological dual exhibition - where a Portuguese artist is placed alongside an artist from overseas - has not been much explored by Portuguese institutions. Where Ara˙jo and TÚllez are concerned, it is particularly important to highlight the fruitful dialogue that exists between them. Various factors exist which are common to both of their bodies of work. One of these factors concerns work based on references to the history of cinema and the great classical narratives, specifically. In the case of the Portuguese artist, opera is a further important reference.
A psychological-psychiatric dimension runs through both bodies of work. One of TÚllez's authorial traits is his work with patients in psychiatric hospitals; in Ara˙jo's work, themes of familial dysfunction or social trauma are present. Hence there is a third common dimension: both artists show the strange, the uncomfortable, departing from which we often do not want to see or confront; in this sense their work is "larger than life", and it is from life that the artists show us zones of invisibility and prejudice.
The exhibition intends to show anthological works by both artists. In TÚllez's case, there will be works shown for the first time, along with others specifically created for this exhibition. This last one feature, in Ara˙jo's case, the video Mulheres d┤Apolo and the performance O Morto; as well as the video installation Rinoceronte de DŘrer, by Javeir TÚllez, which was filmed in the panoptic space of the Miguel Bombarda mental Hospital, in Lisbon.
The exhibition will form part of the programme for the Fˇrum Gulbenkian de Sa˙de 2010, and will benefit from the assistance of the Servišo de Sa˙de e Desenvolvimento Humano, specifically in the form of the support given to the film cycle Cinema e Mente (13 x) Mais que a Vida, commissioned by Portuguese cinema expert JoŃo Mßrio Grilo (May 26th to August 25th, Wednesday, Multipurpose Room, 18h).