THE MEMORY OF WHO I AM NOT
Exhibition by Agnes Vera
Curatorship by Thomas Mendonça
1 JUN to 1 JUL 2018 | tuesday to sunday, 3:00 – 12:00 p.m. | TEATRO TABORDA
[Vernissage 1 June, at 6:30 p.m.]
It begins with a correspondence between senders and receivers who were, at the outset, perfect strangers. The first contact is always established by the initiative of Agnes Vera, who randomly writes to someone in the world a letter requesting the correspondent to describe a childhood memory. These memories are varied, conveyed in both English and their native languages. Sometimes they are accompanied by photographs of the writer’s childhood. Some childhood memories are not childhood memories, they are just letters. They contextualize the correspondent, giving him a name, a gender, a nationality, an age and a calligraphy. They tell us details about where they live, they tell us about rain and weather. Some are detailed, others not so much, they are all very curious, and one is particularly hilarious.
The postcards are all different, we feel that some have been handpicked, others refer to a sloppy chance, very few are illustrated by the correspondent. The stamps are the true national and sanitary mark of these letters. Superimposed on paper and writing – both graphic and content wise – the stamp acts as a mask that suddenly adds a point to the identity of these letters. As if the postcard was the body and the writing was our history as a subject, the seal reminds us that there are borders. That people are always born here or there, but they are never born alone. It also reminds us that childhood existed within each body, but never existed twice in the same way. It reminds us that part of our personal identity is collectively stratified. It reminds us, finally, that we are culture inside of an envelope.
Agnes Vera (n.1993, Portugal), a visual artist graduated at FBAUL, lives in Lisbon. Her work is manifested in sculpture, video and drawing. In 2015 she attended the Superior School of Arts of the Pyrenees in France, where she began her project to collect childhood memories from all over the world and her interest in working on the physical and conceptual image of the child.
Thomas Mendonça (n. 1991, France), a visual artist graduated at ESAD in Caldas da Rainha, Thomas works and lives in Lisbon where he has been developing some curatorial projects, but mainly where he exhibits regularly. Highlights include the exhibitions at the Teatro Taborda, FOCO gallery, Geological Museum, National Museum of Natural History and Science and National Museum of Contemporary Art of Chiado. His focuses of interest are distributed among sentimental melodramas, the post-pop culture and the beauty of the iconic singularity in general. His production manifests itself through various technologies, although with greater emphasis on ceramics and drawing.