CONSTANTLY CHANGING AGAIN
"The place where the human presence unfolds is a moving landscape,
constantly changing.” The quote is by Jonathan Uliel Saldanha , one of the most relevant contemporary artists of Portuguese art of a multidisciplinary character, and it is precisely with the exhibition “Locus Amoenus, Locus Horribilis”, of his own, that Solar - Cinematic Art Gallery finishes its annual program of activities.
Sound and scenic builder Jonathan Uliel Saldanha operates systems where pre-language and crystallization, animism and echo move between light, sound, space and gesture. His works are built from the combination of artistic areas such as music, performance and video, in a sui generis, almost mystical and always surprising way. Artist
which projects internationally from its base in Porto, participating, individually or collectively, in exhibitions, cycles and festivals dedicated to the performing arts, music or even fine arts.
In "Locus Amoenus, Locus Horribilis" , we can see some examples selected from the filmic experiments used by Jonathan Uliel Saldanha in recent years, which are digitally worked in various stages, by categories, and in which he explores unusual environments, such as a basic, dismembered courthouse, place of research for a static and missing object. In the artist's words: “This Locus Horribilis is also a 'black box', an opaque system / oracle that fits in and out, but with indecipherable assumptions mediated by it's effect. An opaque volume whose protocol allows you to look at the accident, precise coordinate for the contour. ”
For this exhibition, all the projection video is articulated from the filmic material produced during a NEXØ performance staged with Catarina Miranda and the publication in the University of Porto Rectory in 2015, later rebuilt during the film for the play "SØMA", published in November 2018 at the Culturgest Small Auditorium in Lisbon for the Temps d'Image Festival and in January 2019 at the Rivoli TMP Hall in Porto, where visual score service was performed by a group of deaf performers.
For the space and brutalist language of Solar architecture, the artist has created a new four-chapter installation where and how video projections evoke how the intangible relationships of this mute court inhabited by objects and humans. Returning to the words of Jonathan Uliel Saldanha: “A landscape in it's canonized plant mineral model presents itself with different levels of opacity, human, inhuman agents and specters that pass the balance between different levels of access, a nature of the place is fickle and causes dislocations in the agents. ”
A cooperative Curtas Metragens CRL has begun to follow the artist's work since his first collaboration in 2015, now constituting “Locus Amoenus, Locus Horribilis” a corollary of this relationship. Later this year Jonathan Uliel Saldanha is part of a collective exhibition honoring the centenary of film production “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” by filmmaker Robert Wiene, a striking figure of German expressionism. The exhibition "The Case Caligari", which also took place at Solar - Cinematic Art Gallery and decorated parallel to the 27th Curtas Vila do Conde, featured works on credits by artists Daniel Blaufuks, Eduardo Brito and Reiner Kohlberger. Jonathan Uliel Saldanha's “Anoxia,” which was adopted in a new formula with four-channel sound and dual-projection video image, was made from films screened in a “contemporary ruin of a recent past,” the Palace São João Novo, in Porto, former Museum of Ethnography and History until 1974 and after the architect Fernando Lanhas.
Earlier, Jonathan Uliel Saldanha had previously participated in programming at Solar - Cinematic Art Gallery with a performance with an exhibition purpose that was organized with Curtas Vila do Conde 2015, Ruins / Rites / Runes, by Ben Rivers and Ben Russell. In 2018, during July, the artist worked with Moor Mother, an American artist, in a residence promoted by Curtas Metragens CRL and MAD Summer School / IPP. The work resulted in an unpublished musical composition, which was featured in the “Stereo” section of the 26th Curtas Vila do Conde Festival.