For almost 15 years now, the two Portuguese artists João Maria Gusmao + Pedro Paiva have been constructing an imaginative journey through films, photographs, installations, and sculptures that encapsulate philosophical, existential, and conceptual issues. Produced in conclusion to a series of exhibitions—which began in 2011 with “Alien Theory” at Le Plateau / Frac Île-de-France
in Paris, by way of Museo Marino Marini in Florence, and ended with “Papagaio”, 2014–15 (premiering at HangarBicocca in Milan then moving on to the Camden Arts Centre in London)—Teoria Extraterrestre is the most complete monograph to date on João Maria Gusmão + Pedro Paiva, condensing nearly four years of work and thought that have been compiled into a film cosmogony by the artists themselves.
João Maria Gusmão (born 1979 in Lisbon) studied painting in Fine Arts University in Lisbon (FBAUL) from 1997-2002. During his academical years he met Pedro Paiva
(born 1978 in Lisbon) with whom he started collaborating in 2001. Over the years they have produced together a large array of different artwork including sculpture, installation, 16mm and 35mm short films as well as writing and book publishing. In recent years Gusmão and Paiva's production has centred on the idea of movement and duration, both within the cinematographic vocabulary, with references to early film
pioneers as Eadweard Muybridge and Étienne-Jules Marey, and through the artists' own experiments and conceptual invention.
João Maria Gusmão has developed a long term relationship with other artists and alternative spaces in the Lisbon Art scene, developing content and writings for projects with Natxo Checa and ZdB, and collaborating with artists like Alexandre Estrela
, Mattia Denisse, Gonçalo Pena
Gusmão and Paiva's film production has been presented in immersive solo exhibitions all over the world and in several biennales, São Paulo (2006), Manifesta (2008), Gwangju (2010) and in Venice in (2009 and 2013). Their work is represented in several international museum collections like the Tate Modern, Reina Sofia, Serralves Museum
, Centre Georges Pompidou, Philadelphia Museum of Modern Art, SFMOMA and in the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco.