At Solar, the artists’ group, Common Culture, present a project influenced by market culture and the experience of everyday life. Building on the premise that there is a fascination for pop culture and its aesthetics they outline and comment insightfully on society, its tensions, the exercise of power and the underlying control of its disruptive forces.
Since the middle of the twentieth century, urban popular culture has been a recurring theme in art which has repeatedly explored and represented the commodities associated with capitalist society and social ascent, but not very often its social relations and less still the so called culture of excess. What is proposed to visitors is a somewhat therapeutic relationship, a transference of what popular and excess cultures are, through the outlining of a social space – the night club.
Tales from the Trophy Room presents the working methods of a night club where hedonism and a certain type of eroticism appear in a ritualized manner but with a commercial purpose, in actions that are devoid of any emotion. “Private Dance” is the perfect example of the way a superficial culture works which in this exhibition is the starting point for the creation of works inspired by the transaction of values from urban popular culture, so close to consumer culture, uninformed and chaotic.
Solar will show original work especially conceived for this exhibition, in which the artists will combine humour with references to Pop Art, exploring the idea of taste, both vulgar and sophisticated, and stressing their Anglo-Saxon origins by including the tradition of British humour transposed into a reality that is close to the Portuguese context, through the use of stand-up comedy in juxtaposition to the performance recorded in video, “Openings Are Always Awkward”.
This project - an exhibition converted into a Night Club - will instigate multiple interpretations in the form of fantasies, desires, fears, common situations in a culture of social tolerance. The audience who is obviously invited to participate and reflect on the globalising tendencies of our everyday habits, the central theme of “Openings Are Always Awkward”, “Comic Battle” and “Binge”, will be confronted with the recognizable ciphers of TV programmes – game shows, comedy, versions of foreign shows, all full of a fake optimism.
In March 2010, the work created for Solar’s show will become part of another exhibition at the Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast, contributing to the international promotion of this project.

© 2021 Curtas Vila do Conde