The 10th edition of DRAF Curators’ Series presents Greater than the Sum, an exhibition by Kunsthalle Lissabon, a small contemporary art space in Lisbon. It presents works by artists André Guedes, Diogo Evangelista, Mounira Al Solh, Céline Condorelli & Amalia Pica, Jonathas De Andrade and Laure Prouvost.
Greater than the Sum is a pan-European collaboration departing from Kunsthalle Lissabon’s original and dynamic curatorial approach; which places ‘radical hospitality’ – defined as sociability, solidarity and generosity – at the core of the institution. The exhibition revisits some of the close collaborations with artists that have shaped their programme. The six installations present ideas of friendship, community and playfulness, and many are themselves products of collaborations.
The exhibition opens with an installation by Turner Prize winning French artist Laure Prouvost. A table set with hand-made ceramics invites viewers to join Prouvost’s surreal, fantastical afternoon tea. This intimate domestic encounter is rendered in Prouvost’s characteristic naïf aesthetic and surreal humour. Portuguese artist Diogo Evangelista presents a playful pastoral installation of cut-out figures taken from vintage Nudist magazines, which dance and play musical instruments in front of a giant lunar eclipse. No Future in That Place (2012) was first presented in Lisbon at Parkour gallery, and points to the artist’s interest in utopian counter-cultures that emphasise communality, union and joy. André Guedes' installation Nova Árgea (2012) refers to the history of the 1974 agricultural co-operative ‘A Comunal’. Founded by urban intellectuals in the Portuguese village Árgea, the movement aimed to use revolutionary socialist principals of exchange to create a “cultural dynamism” among the rural proletariat. Guedes’ work tells through slides and voice-over the story of a fictional contemporary co-operative inspired by the movement.
A new collaboration by artists Céline Condorelli and Amalia Pica invites viewers to scale a ‘ladder’ work by the former – The Double And The Half (to Avery Gordon) (2014) – in order to closely examine three drawings by the latter – Joy in paperwork #148, 156 & 158 (2016). Pica’s series Joy in paperwork uses bureaucratic stamps in different European languages (‘Vertraulich’, ‘Enviado’, ‘PAID’, etc) to create exuberant graphic compositions on paper. Like much of Pica’s work, it playfully questions structures of communication and translation. Condorelli’s ongoing research into friendship and collaboration has been at the centre of her practice for over a decade. Like many of her works, this architectural installation is dedicated to a personal friend, in this instance American sociologist Avery Gordon, with whom she published an extended conversation about friendship The Company She Keeps (2013). Brazilian artist Jonathas De Andrade presents 2 em 1 (‘2 in 1’) (2010), a wall-based work illustrating through a multiple photographs and drawings how to convert two single beds into one double. The prosaic, pragmatic tone of the ‘manual’ humorously contrasts with the inferred symbol of romantic or erotic union. Lebanese artist Mounira Al Solh’s five-channel video installation shows five scenes of friends or family drinking together. Performed by the artist’s own friends, the situations reveal moments of intimacy, aggression and physical interaction, which become increasingly intense as the protagonists become increasingly inebriated.
DRAF Curators' Series supports independent curators by commissioning special research-based projects, considering the curator as an author. Following 'Arcadia Missa' in 2016, this is the second invitation in the series to a space rather than an individual curator.
The Curators’ Series is supported by Arts Council England. Greater than the Sum is supported by Gulbenkian Foundation and the Camões Institute.