“I moved to Lisbon to relax and do nothing, but found myself sucked into an endless stream of dinner parties. The Portuguese give extreme importance to meals; following the legacy of the ancient Greek symposium, all important conversations gravitate around large portions of ameijoas à bulhão pato, rojões à minhota, morce la da régua, and açorda. […] At one of these banquets I sat next to the artists João Maria Gusmão + Pedro Paiva. And rather than saying I was leading an idle life, I mentioned I was freelancing, writing vacuum cleaner reviews on the internet. I was surprised when they showed interest, and baffled when they asked me to read one”—Marco Bene
Published on the occasion of the fourth staging of the eponymous exhibition by Alexandre Estrela and João Maria Gusmão + Pedro Paiva at La Casa Encendida in Madrid, Lua Cão isn't just a catalogue, but another of the many constellations that comprise the show. Curated by Natxo Checa, the exhibition—commenced in a cave in the Azores and shortly after travelled to Zé dos Bois in Lisbon, Kuntsverein München in Munich, and lastly to Madrid—is a choreographed and immersive moving-image experiment, which tests the intersection of the three artists' works, 16mm films and digital videos triggered at different moments over the course of a four-hour cycle, like a panoptic cinema. Featuring images from all the four exhibition chapters, a 16 pages reprint of Lua Cão (Tom & Jerry) (Amsterdam: ROMA Publications, 2018), conversations, emails, and essays by a group of critics, curators and participants to the event, the catalogue recounts the phenomenology of the project, all sides of its prism. The journeys inspiring the realization of metaphysical works of art, reflections on imploded cinema, Portuguese gastronomy and the joys of projectionism, considerations on the somatic properties of Lua Cão, loose thoughts on art and time, volcanic tunnels, melon-shaped skulls, spiderwebs, drunken zombies, demonic dogs, and the digestive benefits of Coca-Cola.
Published on the occasion of the eponymous exhibition at La Casa Encendida, Madrid, in 2018.
Alexandre Estrela (born 1971 in Lisbon) has been active as an advocate of experimental film and video since the 90s. Working at the intersection of moving image, sculpture and audio, his art interrogates the relationship between subject matter and imagery.
João Maria Gusmão (born in 1979) and Pedro Paiva (born in 1977) have collaborated since 2001 on creating objects, installations, photographs and 16mm short films. They have exhibited widely internationally and have participated in numerous biennials, including the 53rd and 55th Venice Biennale.