Joao Maria Gusmao & Pedro Paiva

Born JMG: 1979, PP: 1977
Lives and Works Lisbon, Portugal
Painting, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal

Sies + Höke Galerie, Düsseldorf, Germany

Portuguese artists João Maria Gusmão + Pedro Paiva use film, sculpture, and installation explore the paranormal, the inexplicable, and the unconscious. For example, the kaleidoscopic world created by the 27 16mm films in their immersive installation Papagaio (2015) takes viewers on an imaginative journey into science, philosophy, and religion. Shot with a high-speed camera but projected in slow motion, the films reveal ordinarily imperceptible detail with ghostly effect. Starting from journeys, stories, anecdotes or cinematic allegories and with few contextual cues to enable the enigmatic scenarios to be located in a specific time or place, the veracity of each film is ambiguous. The two accompanying camera obscura installations directly investigate and display the behaviour of vision and light, and the aperture motif which is reiterated in other works, connects representations of the eye to the camera. With an emphasis on materiality and aesthetic immediacy, Gusmão +Paiva’s work draws attention to the paradoxes in the appearance of reality and probes at the nature of truth, perception, and the objectivity of vision.

The duo have had solo exhibitions at Fondazione Hangar Bicocca in Milan, Objectif Exhibitions in Antwerp, Centre d’art de Fribourg, Kunsthaus Glarus, Kunstnernes Hus in Oslo, ZDB in Lisbon, Fondazione Brodbeck in Catania, Le Plateau in Paris, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, IMO in Copenhagen, Index, Stockholm, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, 2010; Kunstverein Hanover, Centre for Contemporary Visual Art in Toronto, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art in San Francisco, and Matadero in Madrid. Their work has appeared in the group exhibitions at institutions such as Palais de Tokyo in Paris, WIELS Contemporary Art Centre in Brussels, New Museum in New York, Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol, Sculpture Centre in New York. Gusmão + Paiva have participated in numerous biennials, including the 53rd and 55th Venice Biennials.

Courtesy of Camden Arts Centre

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