image text special

'a room, two rooms' by Ana Manso & Max Ruf at Kunsthalle Freeport, Porto

Taking the road towards Fonte de Telha, a few kilometers away from Lisbon where Max installed his studio, Ana returns to images of her childhood when with her family she stopped at Tremoceira, a bazaar selling mainly olives, lupines, pots in terracotta and animal feed. In a first place, retail spaces inspire this sense of profusion. 

Here is that in a context of opulence, the neutral would impose itself as a motif, provided that the intensity dominates, as Roland Barthes liked to speak about it in his seminars in 1978. A neutral which would come to make the link through the diversity of proposals. 

There is this chair painted in gray so that customers can sit at the entrance of the store. It suggests to Ana and Max the idea that a surface painted in shades of gray would make this link possible - between the works that pre-exist this experience and those that still have to be chosen.
„Max also goes to Tremoceira“ 

Stop, the Porto shopping mall, former car park, in which the Kunsthalle Freeport is located is just as full. And although emptied of its market values, it remains charged with the uniqueness of its space, layers of color on the redeveloped surfaces, sounds and echoes. New occupants, mainly music studios and rehearsal rooms, resonate in a piece of contemporary history and resistance. 

Kunsthalle Freeport has taken up residence in a paradimical game, in this vessel without an identity of art. From here Ana & Max choose works of two dimensions, images to be added to the intensity of the place - to this too full of meaning, to its historical load. Will the mode of existence have to go through the artifice of an intense neutral? What Barthes meant by the neutral was a way of thinking that eludes the clear and binary oppositions that structure our understanding of the world. 
The exhibition will reflect this series of shared questions. 

The Mall imposes itself in its majesty and makes the exercise perilous. However, it comes to Ana and Max‘s idea not to thwart anything :
 it‘s about painting, about image making, about the simplicity of looking and at the same time theoretically relying on the paradoxes of intensities. 

The works on paper as well as the paintings are characterized by the variation of abstract signs and motifs that suggest a detachment between form and content. In this interstice lodges a speculative space, in a dialogue that tests intensities - although two artists are two distinct languages. 

As a hypothesis when I write this text, here is how it seemed possible to me to share a distanced image of this exhibition project which becomes the occasion for a text of anticipation - a room, two rooms. 

— Estelle Nabeyrat 

15.10.20 — 30.11.20

Kunsthalle Freeport

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