SUMMA CAVEA, Mar 13 – Apr 24, 2010

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The Pedro Cera Gallery is pleased to announce the fourth solo exhibition by the artist Pedro Barateiro, with the title Summa Cavea.

Summa Cavea is also the title of a documentary film directed and produced between 1954 and 1957 by the German filmmaker Christina Vinug, and which describes the life of a group of archaeologist in a mine in the south of France, about 100 kilometres to the west of the city of Arles, where traces of Roman occupation have been found.

The film carefully shows the episodes of the life and work of this group of archaeologists in an area which until then had been a large coal mine.

Vinug, who has not produced any other works, accompanied the expedition from the beginning, and recorded the different moments of the excavation works and the way that the daily life of the old mine has been changed. The workers go from being miners to archaeological assistants, helping the team going about the basic, everyday tasks in an archaeological dig. The documentary centres a good deal of its story on the accidental discovery by one of the miners of that which might be the last row of a Roman theatre or amphitheatre.

The title of the film, Summa Cavea, comes from the appropriation of the term in Latin to describe the last row of a Roman theatre or amphitheatre, with the cavea being that which designates the stalls, in a semi-circular or elliptical shape in which the spectators sat according to social and hierarchical order.

The image and the production context of this film allow Pedro Barateiro to consider issues inherent to his work. The exhibition brings together a set of recent Works made up of three sculptures, “A Estante do Arqueólogo” [The Archaeologist’s Bookcase], “Summa Cavea”, “Mesa de Trabalho/ Mesa de Jogo” [Work Table/ Card Table], and a photographic poster of the film Summa Cavea. He here continues to develop ideas related to the production, construction and consequent deconstruction of parallel historical narratives, starting from the experience and interpretation of the author’s subjectivity and his identification with and as a spectator. Indeed, this is a recurring subject in Barateiro’s work, and can be seen in previous moments, such as in the exhibitions Teoria da Fala [Speech Theory] at the Casa de Serralves in 2009, Domingo [Sunday] at the White Pavilion of the Lisbon city Museum or in the work presented at the 5th Berlin Biennial, The Naked City / A Cidade Nua, both in 2008.

In the context of the exhibition there will also be the presenting of two performances by the artists: the first O Sopro de Prata: a partir de fotografias de Emile Marini [The Silver Breath: on photographs by Emile Marini], in which Barateiro constructs a narrative based on a selection of slides of photographs by the Italian journalist and photographer Emile Marini, belonging to the Institute of Tropical Scientific Research - Ultramarine Historical Archive. This performance includes participation by Lula Pena.
The second performance, Hoje Estamos de Olhos Fechados [Today we have our Eyes Closed], will consist of showing a 16mm black and white film shot in the garden of the National Theatre Museum in Lisbon, and includes participation by Lia Gama.

Pedro Barateiro (Almada, 1979), lives and works in Lisbon. Of note in his career are his participations in the 16th Sydney Biennial, 2008, the 5th Berlin Biennial, 2008, the Busan Biennial, 2006, Photo Espanha, in 2008, and his solo exhibitions “Teoria da Fala” at the Casa de Serralves - Serralves Museum, 2009, “Amanhã não Nasce Ninguém” MARCO, Vigo Contemporary Art Museum, 2009, and “Domingo” at the White Pavilion/ Lisbon City Museum, 2008. Of note among his future exhibitions is the solo exhibition planned for September at the Basel Kunsthalle.