Nuno Sousa Vieira
Inhabitants ou imitar o andar
3+1 Arte Contemporânea is pleased to present Inhabitants ou imitar o andar (Inhabitants or imitating the walk), the most recent solo exhibition by Nuno Sousa Vieira (Leiria, 1971) at the gallery.
Nuno Sousa Vieira’s work has been developed in close articulation with the former plastics factory SIMALA, where he established his studio between 2001 and 2021. During the twenty years he has occupied this space, the artist has created a language where the workplace is also the working material. Thus, Sousa Vieira often uses in his works objects and materials left behind when the factory was dismantled, as well as architectural elements of the building, giving matter a second chance. The SIMALA building was designed specifically to house the factory, fitting into a modernist architecture that is not considered of note, not having the quality it would need to be seen as an example. Still, the modernism of the old factory is one that has asserted itself in the daily lives of many populations. This question is something that interests Sousa Vieira in his work: talking about the history that is not part of the great narratives. It is the shifting of our gaze towards what has fallen into obscurity and, along the way, changing our relationship with objects.
The sculptures featured in Inhabitants ou imitar o andar started being developed in early 2022 and are the artist’s first works after leaving SIMALA. These were thought of alongside the transition to his new studio and so this is an exhibition of which movement and change are intrinsic parts. For Sousa Vieira, distance shows who we are, and changing places changes the way we see the world. Until now, the artist had considered his work programmatically, but walking to a new space allowed him to feel freer. This is an exercise that he requests from the observer, motivating a change of perspective in a literal but also figurative way. The relationship with the artworks has a character of discovery that can sometimes surpass reality.
Thus, Inhabitants ou imitar o andar lives in the balance of two moments: between there and here, the old and the new, the real and the surreal. Because, although the artist uses the same language, the place where he practices it is no longer the same and the destination is no longer equal. As Apollinaire said in The Breasts of Tiresias “When man resolved to imitate walking, he invented the wheel, which does not look like a leg. In doing this, he was practicing surrealism without knowing it”. Similarly, the distance between what was once close resulted in the desynchronisation of language, allowing surrealism take over the creative process.