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Olympus Mons

collaboration with Adriana Romero
mARTE, Barcelos
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Olympus Mons    2016
slide projection, black-and-white, 200x125 cm (aprox.)

Olympus — in Greek mythology gods' home — is the highest mountain of Greece, but it is also the highest mountain of Mars, and the highest mountain of the Solar System. A cross-sectional name, evoking different times and planets, becomes particularly suggestive of the relations we aimed to establish in this work.
The sea's openness (immensity) appears in association with the immense cosmic night: "[f]rom an intergalactic vantage point we would see, strewn like sea froth on the waves of space, innumerable faint, wispy tendrils of light." (Sagan, 1980, p.5)
It's through the use and observation of salt crystals, then, that we establish a connection with the sea, and with the universe.
The attempt to approach a scale from its opposite comes from the recognition of the correspondence between them, drawing from contemporary physics theories which describe the way "each particle of matter in space contains information about the state of the entire universe" (Viola, 2005, p.42).
The ways of enacting the filmed places reflect the relation referred — they are shootings of salt crystals seen through the microscope, or of salt corroded surfaces. Through them we find mountains, horizon lines, atmospheres, and even a planet.
In this way we imply an imaginative eye rather than a scientific one. It is a "look that searches to be astonished: and if one has been already astonished by something and comes back to look at it, it is because one wants to be amazed again... with a different detail " (Bachelard, 1996 cit. by Tavares, 2013, p.37).


Gedeão, António (1983 [1996]). “Poema das nuvens fofas”, In Poesia completa, (p.174). Lisboa: Edições João Sá da Costa.
Sagan, Carl (1980). Cosmos. New York: Random House.
Viola, Bill (2005). Reasons for Knocking at an Empty House: Writings 1973-1994, (3ª ed.). London: Thames & Hudson.
Tavares, Gonçalo M. (2013). Atlas do Corpo e da Imaginação, Lisboa: Caminho.

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Olympus Mons    2016

Installation with a video projection, color, without sound, 15'17'', loop, slide projection, 16 lamellas with salt crystals, light projector.

Views from the exhibition E como estrelas/duplas/consanguíneas/luzimos de um para o outro/nas trevas

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