Composição, Mar 29 – May 12, 2007

Press releasePortuguês

The Galeria Pedro Cera takes great pleasure in announcing the inauguration of the third solo exhibition by Pedro Barateiro at the gallery. The exhibition is made up of a new set of photographs with interventions and Composição, a video installation.

Composição is a work made from images taken from the Portuguese New State propaganda films found in the National Archive of Moving Images (ANIM – Cinemateca Portuguesa). The video takes the form of a non-linear narrative and begins with the visit to an exhibition, which functions as a starting point for a reflection on looking and acting.
This work continues the research carried out by Barateiro into the construction of social and ideological space through the interpretation of propaganda images in order to find vestiges of the construction of the gaze and its consequences on the ethical level in the production of images. The images are interspersed with texts by the artist and excerpts from texts by authors such as Henri Lefebvre, Guy Debord and Gertrude Stein.

Indeed, the title of the video installation is inspired by the text by Gertrude Stein Composition as Explanation, 1926, which has been a reference for Barateiro and has accompanied his career.

The text states that composition is something that takes place in the form of a constant reorganisation of life, and that the work of artists is made in parallel to events in social life. For Stein the “only thing that changes from one time to another is what is seen, and what is seen depends on the way that everything else is made”. Stein thus points to a visual dependence: “Each period of life differs from any other period of life, not in the way that life is, but in the way that life is led, and that, truly speaking, is composition. (...) Anyone who creates composition in arts does not know this, it is leading life and that is what makes composition what it is, it makes their work be composed as it is being made. (...) Artists thus prepare themselves as the world around them is The second group of works corresponds to a new set of intervened photographs made from pages taken from the French cinema magazines Cahiers du Cinéma and Positif from the sixties and seventies. What is important in these works, as a critical counterweight to the video installation, are issues of the author and authorship.

One of the most pertinent issues that the cinema has posed for post-modern and contemporary society is, in Barateiro’s opinion, the question of the production of discourse and the construction of images, reflecting the mediated form of seeing the world. Using the pages from these magazines, and consequently photograms from the movies, means recalling a period of post-modern culture in which the cinema d’auteur still showed a certain capacity for control over the production of images.

For Barateiro it is important to state that throughout the whole of the XX century the photographic image and the image projected were used both in the creation of totalitarian discourses (vide the documentary images from the propaganda films), as well as in the construction of fictional discourses with a recurring metaphorical and mythological theme.

Pedro Barateiro was born in Almada, Portugal, in 1979, graduated at the ESTGAD art school, in Caldas da Rainha, frequented the Maumaus school in Lisbon between 2002 and 2004 and obtained an MFA in Visual Arts at Mälmo Art Academy, Sweden, in 2006. His curriculum includes five solo and several group exhibitions, highlighting his presence at the last Busan Biennial in Korea. Future exhibitions include participation in the coming Sydney Biennial, to take place in 2008.